The US government has proposed an increased global effort to locate 300,000 or so Earth-impact risks and prepare for potential future meteor collisions that could destroy cities. Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are defined as asteroids or comets that come near our planet’s orbit. A recently released White House document entitled ‘National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy’ details how low-probability, high consequence impacts pose a “significant and complex challenge”.

The report says that while a “civilization-ending” smash with space rocks over the next 200 years is unlikely, the risk of “smaller but still catastrophic NEO impacts is real.” “Current estimates of the NEO population predict that over 300,000 objects greater than 40 meters [131ft] in size could be an impact hazard to the Earth and have not yet been detected,” the strategy warns. FULL REPORT