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Cosmic Menaces

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Abstract

Since 3.5 billion years ago, life has developed to a high level of sophistication on a planet sitting at the right distance to its star, orbited by a fortuitous moon which formed very early in the planet’s history, the result of a gigantic collision which helped to stabilize the climate and the setting of conditions that give support to human development. Thereafter, life has evolved as a combination of Darwinian adaptation and of natural traumas which led to the various extinctions mentioned in the previous chapter. Will such events recur in the future or, more specifically, in the next 100,000 years that may ruin all possible efforts of maintaining the Earth in a habitable state for humans? What might these events be? If we know what they are can we protect ourselves from their occurrence and avoid their disastrous effects? Besides those that are anthropogenically generated, there are two main types of natural hazards. In this chapter we deal with the menaces coming from the sky while the next chapter deals with hazards due to abuses of the Earth itself.

Keywords

Solar Wind Solar System Comet Nucleus Space Debris Astronomical Unit 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Praxis Publishing Ltd. 2008

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