After watching Netflix's Don't Look Up, a sci-fi comedy film that tells the story of two astronomers who take on the responsibility of warning the world about a giant comet approaching earth amidst negation, RX Radio Presenter Fatboy has wondered whether the possibility of comets destroying the planet should be a matter of concern.
The Fatboy Show Presenter said that as the world seems a tad concerned about climate change, the film indicates a similar consequence on earth- an incoming asteroid that could wipe out human life, despite being taken for granted by political leaders and being given limited media coverage.
However, his Co-presenter Daniel Omara said Netflix has recently been inclined to put out preachy content such as asteroids and comets yet similar stories are always in the news.
“There’s always an asteroid about to hit the earth. Apparently one hit us last week,” said Daniel. Fatboy, unconvinced, wondered how the asteroid could have left humanity alive. Daniel then clarified that it was reported to be the size of a fridge that was rotating around the earth and eventually landed in the ocean. His concern however, was that it was detected after getting into the earth’s sphere and not earlier.
Fatboy then mentioned how various films about comets headed to earth always describe them as gigantic rocks equated to 10,000 thermal nuclear bombs exploding simultaneously, yet in reality they seem to be relatively smaller.
“Even in these comet-related disaster films, the comets tend not to be as big enough to destroy the world. So when you tell me that there’s a comet the size of a refrigerator, I am not sure I should be scared. Should I?” He asked Daniel.
Daniel replied that the size of the comet should not be a concern but the concern is where it lands.
“The fact that several of them seem to be coming our way year after year is worrying because how long before a gigantic comet heads our way and threatens our existence?” Fatboy asked. “Hollywood has been scaring us with the possibility of this happening. In the late 90’s, there was Armageddon, Deep Impact and now Don’t Look Up. As human beings, we seem fascinated by the threat of an asteroid or comet. So it's probably gonna happen sooner or later,” he added.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, the Professor of Planetary and Space Sciences at the Open University, Monica Grady said the earth is affected by an asteroid that wipes the entirety of life every 50 million years. With the last one having hit the earth 65 million years ago, she says that the earth is set to receive another after the next 15 million years.
However, a plan was devised to prevent the catastrophe from happening. In November of last year, Nasa's Dart (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) was launched and is on its way to dismantle a pair of asteroids that surround each other. If successful, this will be used to destroy future threats that may be directed towards earth, according to the Open University Professor.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.