This disturbing subject holds my interest, so much so that I've used an asteroid collision as the basis for a futuristic Higher Ground series of novels, written with co-partner Edith Parzefall. A team of American and European scientists have confirmed that the comet which hit earth 66 million years ago wiped out the dinosaurs, along with 75% of the creatures. Some were clever enough to survive, like crocodiles and sharks. I'm assuming the strongest of mankind will find a way.
The most recent visit from an asteroid measuring nearly 2.7km (1.7 miles), called 1998 QE2, is so large that it is orbited by its own moon. The space-rock kept a safe distance, at closest, about 5,800,000 km (3,600,000 miles).
That is about 200 times more distant than the asteroid near-miss that occurred in February.
Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queen's University Belfast, said:
"It's a big one. And there are very few of these objects known - there are probably only about 600 or so of this size or larger in near-Earth space. And importantly, if something this size did hit us one day in the future, it is extremely likely it would cause global environmental devastation, so it is important to try and understand these objects."bbc.co.uk
I'll leave the study to the experts. At best they have no plan about how to prevent a collision. Instead, I turn to fiction. In my version of future events, people are not wiped out after the collision, although very few survive. Here's a short excerpt from Seaweed Ribbons, the fifth book in the series, due to be published next year.
* * *
Dripping beside him on the sand, Ginny touched his arm, a soft expression in her eyes. "What do you think happened in the before times?"
"About making life?"
"No, silly. To the world. To all the others who wrote books and built splendid dwellings and halls. Like ours."
"Some folks in Hailing say Corn World rose after a huge rock fell from the sky and shattered the land."
She peered up. "You mean when a star falls with a trail of light behind?"
"I guess so. I often see them. None has hit anywhere near me."
"Did that cause the flood?"
"Could have." Pleased at a chance to share his opinion, he took a deep breath. "How can we know? Anyone who lived through what happened isn't here now. Just us."
"Is the land flooded everywhere else?"
"I don't know. I've never left Corn World." The weight of his wedding vow choked him.
"Would you like to? Go away from here?"
"Not without you." He gazed into her eyes. "What if we left this place and travelled back to Hailing?"
"I couldn't," she murmured under his ear.
As if trapped by the surging tide, he clung to his promise and waited to drown. He rocked her from side to side. After such a short marriage, she needed time to consider leaving her home.
* * *
How do you imagine the future? Will you and your family survive?