Josep María Trigo is a man with a message that you may not want to hear; that at any moment our planet could disappear with a big bang. Not the one that created the universe, but the one that may do to us what was done to the dinosaurs.
Meteorites hit the Earth every day, most of them being destroyed by our atmosphere before they can do any harm; but if a big enough one got through, the results could be catastrophic, even worse than Brexit and Donald Trump’s election.
Trigo, a Valencian astrophysicist, works for the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and his team is studying the possible consequences of such an impact and how to avoid Armageddon; not an insignificant task.
His findings have been published in the The Astrophysical Journal, and deal with the 18 metre wide meteor that struck Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013.
In 1908 another meteor, this time much bigger, destroyed 2,000 kilometres of tundra near Tunguska.
Trigo’s team are working on the idea of a missile that could cause such a meteor to divert from its path.
To achieve this it is necessary to compile a catalogue of potentially threatening meteors and calculate the logistics of a missile strike that would deviate each one.