Technology

Nasa simulation reveals horrific results of an asteroid strike on New York

Asteroid approaching Earth. Computer artwork of an asteroid entering Earth's atmosphere.

A large asteroid could wipe out a major city and kill millions (Image: Getty)

A virtual version of New York was utterly destroyed by a one-kilometre-wide asteroid last week.

Nasa simulated the apocalyptic event during a ‘planetary defence’ exercise intended to help it practice an emergency response.

The doomsday dress rehearsal was carried out over several days, culminating in a direct hit on Central Park causing a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

It would destroy everything within a 9-mile ‘unsurvivable’ radius and render the city totally uninhabitable.

Windows as far as 28 miles away would shatter and damage would extend to a radius of 42 miles from the centre of the blast.

One of the questions raised in the simulation is how authorites would evacuate ten million people.

‘Two months may not be enough time to really evacuate, because you’re evacuating people who are stuck, who have to rebuild their lives where they’re going. You’re going to have fleets of U-hauls,’ said Brandy Johnson, an ‘angry citizen’ in the exercise, referring to the rental moving trucks.

It’s also not clear how humans would respond when they hear the apocalypse is nigh.

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‘If you knew your home was going to be destroyed six months from now, and that you weren’t going back again, would you keep paying your mortgage?’ asked Victoria Andrews, NASA’s deputy planetary defence

The fictional killer asteroid is, of course, ‘highly unlikely,’ Paul Chodas, the NASA engineer who designed the game, told AFP.

‘But we wanted the issues to be exposed and discussed,’ he added.

Nasa scientists recently revealed details of the threat posed by another type of space object. 

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