NASA astronomers have discovered more than 1000 asteroids headed towards Earth – and some could smash into the planet with catastrophic, life-ending, consequences. The American space agency is working with a host of other countries on an urgent mission to find ways of redirecting the giant flying rocks away from civilization. Meteors can travel at unimaginable speeds and, irrespective of size, carry

enough kinetic energy to punch holes in cities. NASA puts the average speed of an asteroid at around 60,000mph. But the recently-spotted ‘Oumuamua,’ a cigar-shaped asteroid from outside our solar system reached a peak speed of 196,000mph (87.3 km/s). A collision at that speed would have the destructive impact of a large nuclear warhead.A meteor close to the Yukon Peninsula, Mexico, famously killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago after the resulting ash cloud triggered the equivalent of a  nuclear winter. READ MORE