Usually meteor showers are met by researchers and the general public with joy, because this is a spectacular night view. Earth passes through a stream, small objects burn in the atmosphere, and we can see “shooting stars”. However, one of these streams can be dangerous to the inhabitants of the Earth.
If we are talking about space catastrophes, then we are talking about near-Earth hazardous objects. Two main sources can be distinguished: asteroids and comets (come from the outer solar system). The last few decades, scientists have carefully monitored potentially dangerous near-Earth objects and have already managed to create a catalog of 90% of celestial bodies. Work continues, and soon we will display the smallest objects.
However, these are potentially dangerous objects from the internal system. There are also violators from the external system, which are much more difficult to track down. The new study presented one of these dangers - the Taurid meteor shower. Now consider that this is the source of periodic catastrophic events.
Debris left after the explosion of the Tunguska meteorite
Recall the Tunguska meteorite that collapsed in Russia in 1908. This event is attributed to catastrophes that fall every 1000 years. Perhaps this is a kind of coincidence. However, periodically the Earth passes through the dense meteor shower Taurids, which significantly increases the chances of a planet colliding with a dangerous object and may be responsible for periodic disasters (every 1000 years). Moreover, if it turns out to prove the hypothetical power of the Taurid stream, these meteors are responsible for disasters with a shorter period of time. For the new study, a simulated accumulation of meteorites with a length of 100 m (like a fallen Tungussky meteorite), similar to the Taurid stream, was created, and their orbits were calculated 1000 years ahead. It turns out that we managed to bring two temporary points of the Earth’s passage through this hypothetical stream, when the risk of collision with a large object increases.
Interestingly, back in the 1930s. hypothesized that it was believed that the Tunguska meteorite arrived with the Taurid meteor shower created by comet Enke. So far this is just a hypothesis, but researchers can test it. In the summer of 2019, the Earth will approach the center of the meteor shower at 30,000,000 km (the closest approach since 1975), which will allow a better study of the objects.
Now the meteor shower will be viewed by the Taurids with great interest, because its objects may carry a threat to the inhabitants of the Earth in the future.