Asteroid Impact: What Are Our Chances?


From 1veritasium, 2veritasium, or sciencium.

Stephen Hawking thought an asteroid impact posed the greatest threat to life on Earth. Thanks to Kiwico for sponsoring this video. For 50% off your first month of any crate, go to
For other potential world ending catastrophes, check out Domain of Science:

Special thanks to:
Prof. Dave Jewitt from UCLA Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
Prof. Mark Boslough from Sandia National Labs
Scott Manley:
Ryan Wyatt at Morrison Planetarium
Prof. Amy Mainzer
Alexandr Ivanov for the opening shot of Chelyabinsk Meteor

Maps of Asteroid Impacts —

Opposition Effect —
Belskaya, I. N., & Shevchenko, V. G. (2000). Opposition effect of asteroids. Icarus, 147(1), 94-105.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids —
Perna, D., Barucci, M. A., & Fulchignoni, M. (2013). The near-Earth objects and their potential threat to our planet. The Astronomy and Astrophysics Review, 21(1), 65.

Survey of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids —

Population Vulnerability —
Rumpf, C. M., Lewis, H. G., & Atkinson, P. M. (2017). Population vulnerability models for asteroid impact risk assessment. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 52(6), 1082-1102.

Size distribution of NEOs —
Trilling, D. E., Valdes, F., Allen, L., James, D., Fuentes, C., Herrera, D., … & Rajagopal, J. (2017). The size distribution of near-earth objects larger than 10 m. The Astronomical Journal, 154(4), 170.

2020 NEOWISE Data Release —

National Research Council Report—
Board, S. S., & National Research Council. (2010). Defending planet earth: Near-Earth-Object surveys and hazard mitigation strategies. National Academies Press.

Tug Boat —
Schweickart, R. L., Lu, E. T., Hut, P., & Chapman, C. R. (2003). The asteroid tugboat. Scientific American, 289(5), 54-61.

Gravity Tractor 1 —
Lu, E. T., & Love, S. G. (2005). Gravitational tractor for towing asteroids. Nature, 438(7065), 177-178.

Laser Ablation —
Thiry, N., & Vasile, M. (2014). Recent advances in laser ablation modelling for asteroid deflection methods. SPIE Optical Engineering+ Applications, 922608-922608.

Yarakovsky Effect —

DART Mission —

Nuclear 1 —
Ahrens, T. J., & Harris, A. W. (1992). Deflection and fragmentation of near-Earth asteroids. Nature, 360(6403), 429-433.

Nuclear 2 —
Bradley, P. A., Plesko, C. S., Clement, R. R., Conlon, L. M., Weaver, R. P., Guzik, J. A., … & Huebner, W. F. (2010, January). Challenges of deflecting an asteroid or comet nucleus with a nuclear burst. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1208, No. 1, pp. 430-437). American Institute of Physics.

Researched and Written by Petr Lebedev, Jonny Hyman and Derek Muller
3D animations, VFX, SFX, Audio Mixing by Jonny Hyman
2D animation by Ivàn Tello
Intro animation by Nicolas Pratt
With Filming by Raquel Nuno

Music from "Stellar Dance" "Orbit" "That Notebook" "What We Discovered" "Out of Poppies" "Handwriting"
Images and video supplied by Getty Images

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