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Sep 12 / Dave Schumaker

Fewer Comets Than Previously Thought

New simulations run by the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Mt Stromlo show that there may be up to 7 times fewer comets present in our solar system than originally thought. This lowers the odds of Earth being struck by a previously unknown object that came from the Oort Cloud. “I calculate that small comets, capable of destroying a city, only hit the Earth once every 40 million years or so,” Dr Francis said. “Big continent-busting comets, as shown in the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact, are rarer still, only hitting once every 150 million years or so. So I don’t loose sleep over it, but you’re still more likely to be killed by a comet than to win the jackpot at Lotto.”

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