A swarm of meteors moving towards Earth may have the potential to cause a devastating impact, a new study in Western Ontario University says. The socalled Taurid swarm can be a recurring event that a number of scientists believe may have played a part in the greatest Earth impact of present events, in 1908, when a space rock slammed into Siberia with enough force to destroy an whole forest.

What has become known as the Tunguska explosion of 1908 was so powerful that the blast leveled 80 million trees over an 800 square mile location. It’s considered to be a more one-in-1,000-year event, according to Western Ontario University.  However, while the Tunguska explosion occurred just over a hundred years past, still yet another phenomenon may occur much sooner than its 1,000-year expectancy, the investigators say. That’s why they truly are focusing new attention on the Taurid swarm.

The Taurid swarm can be just a dense bunch of meteors over the Taurid meteor stream. Earth periodically passes through the Taurid swarm, and it’s but one of those 3 components phenomenons that may lead to a catastrophic collision. Near Earth Objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and meteoroids, as well as comets are another two potential causes.

The Taurid swarm is done when Earth passes through the debris left by Comet Encke, based on NASA. The comet’s dust barrels throughout Earth’s atmosphere at 65,000 miles, burns up up and creates a whirlpool bathtub. This Taurid meteor shower is generally weak, but there are a few years where it’s more observable, NASA says.

In this summer, Earth will approach over 30,000,000 kilometers of the guts of this Taurid swarm, ” the study says. That could be Earth’s closest encounter with the swarm since 1975 and the ideal viewing opportunity we’ll have until the first 2030s.

“There’s strong meteoric and NEO evidence supporting the Taurid swarm and its potential existential risks, yet this summer brings a special opportunity to observe and quantify the objects,” stated David Clark, ” a Western Ontario University graduate student and first author of this study. 

While the Taurid swarm is not expected to cause any harm, Western Ontario University researchers will be analyzing it closely by employing the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope at the University of Hawaii at August. That’s if they’ll receive optimal viewing to gather information — and learn more about perhaps the swarm is really capable of inducing a repeat of the 1908 impact.