In an animated video scientists were able to show what would happen to the Earth if the largest asteroid in our solar system was to make contact. The video shows the asteroid’s shadow blocking out sunlight over the world as it nears the surface. As it descends through the atmosphere, the asteroid begins to burn up.
Upon impact, a large explosion is seen and reverberates through the whole world.
The asteroid pummels into the Earth’s crust and sends tsunami-like ocean waves ripping outwards.
The impact is so monumental that debris can be seen flying into space.
The Himalayan mountains are completely destroyed in the fiery fallout.
Oceans and forests appear to be burning up as well.
This planet-killing asteroid is known as Ceres.
Ceres is actually a dwarf planet and the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
It is the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system.
It was the first member of the asteroid belt to be discovered when Giuseppe Piazzi spotted it in 1801.
The now-retired NASA space probe Dawn studied Ceres in the early 2000s.
It became the first dwarf planet to receive a visit from a spacecraft.
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Called an asteroid for many years, Ceres is so much bigger and so different from its rocky neighbours that scientists classified it as a dwarf planet in 2006.
Even though Ceres comprises 25 percent of the asteroid belt’s total mass, tiny Pluto is still 14 times more massive.
Ceres takes 1,682 Earth days, or 4.6 Earth years, to make one trip around the sun.
Ceres’ radius is just 296 miles (476 km). If Earth were the size of a nickel, Ceres would be about as big as a poppy seed.
Scientists would like to search for possible signs of life on Ceres as it has something many other planets don’t: water.
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