On October 8, 2009, a powerful blast occurred in the atmosphere over Indonesia. It was caused by an asteroid exploding in the atmosphere at an altitude of 15-20 kilometers above the surface of the earth. The link below reports that Indonesians on the ground heard the blast, which was estimated to be as powerful as three Hiroshima-type nuclear weapons. The explosion was powerful enough to register on scientific instruments built to detect the actual detonation of nuclear weapons. My thanks to a reader of this blog who brought this link to my attention.
Amazingly, this massive blast was caused by an asteroid the size of “about ten meters across.” One can only imagine how massive an explosion would be if a much bigger asteroid entered the earth’s atmosphere and exploded when it hit the earth’s surface.
This may happen someday. Revelation 8:8 prophesies that the Apostle John saw in his vision about the latter days that an object he likened to “a great mountain burning with fire” hit the sea, sinking 1/3rd of the ships in the sea and destroying 1/3rd of the earth’s sea-life. The description of an object that looked like a “great mountain burning with fire” falling through the atmosphere and hitting the sea would aptly describe an asteroid falling through the earth’s atmosphere. One could easily anticipate that a huge asteroid impact in, for example, the Pacific Ocean could sink 1/3rd of the ships at sea with the impact’s shock wave and the gigantic subsequent tsunamis that would spread out in all directions from the impact site. Wherever such an object impacted, it would kill vast numbers of people on the coastal regions of the surrounding continents and some oceanic nations could simply go extinct. The Bible does not tell us where this object is prophesied to hit. It is also uncertain to me if the vision meant that 1/3rd of the ships in all the seas (oceans) of the earth will be sunk and 1/3rd of all sea creatures killed or if it means that “only” 1/3rd of the ships and the sea-life in the particular sea (ocean) in which it impacts will be destroyed. It would be a global catastrophe in either option, but one would be much more horrific than the other.
Whenever such an impact occurs, one would think that an object so large would be detected, but that cannot be taken for granted. The asteroid that blew up recently over Indonesia was not detected by any telescope, so it allows for the possibility that a massive asteroid might not be detected until it began to “catch fire” in the upper atmosphere. Such an asteroid could strike without advance warning.
Just try to imagine the size of the explosion that would result from an asteroid the size of a “great mountain” hitting the ocean’s surface. It boggles the mind! Of course, the Apostle John saw the object falling through the atmosphere and burning as it fell. The actual asteroid itself might be much smaller than a “great mountain,” but it would look that big to a bystander (as John was seeing it in a prophetic vision) because the fiery plume of the asteroid would spread out to a size considerable bigger than the actual asteroid inside the fiery plume.
Before the latter days are over, mankind will learn that we are merely small flecks of consciousness walking around the earth in bodies made from the elements of the earth during a very limited lifespan. James 4:14 likens the human lifespan to a mere “vapor” because it is over so quickly compared to the lives of spirit beings whose bodies do not die. As the signs and wonders of the latter days occur in the years ahead of us, mankind will come to realize that we are merely the physical creation of a Supreme Creator Being who made us and gave us the privilege of living on his earth for a short time. Mankind will also discover that this Supreme Creator Being has rules regarding how life must be lived if humans are to be allowed to enter his eternal kingdom. You will find those rules in the Bible, the Creator’s “instruction manual” for human beings.