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Weisberg Talks to Pioneer Press on End of World Predictions

December 19, 2012

Joel Weisberg, the Herman and Gertrude Mosier Stark Professor of Physics and Astronomy and the Natural Sciences at Carleton, spoke with the St. Paul Pioneer Press for its Dec. 19 story about the different ways the world could actually come to an end. Weisberg spoke with reporter Richard Chin, Weisberg discounted an alien invasion, at least in the near future. In a universe where nothing travels faster than light, "the distances are too great," he says, so he doesn't expect a close encounter anytime soon. Same goes for rogue planets or black holes, according to Weisberg. In reality, runaway planets or wandering black holes are so rare, they're not worth worrying about. Asteroids, however, probably pose the greatest risk to planet Earth, as one impacting the planet is "a very good possibility over long time scales," is the way Weisberg describes it. "The chances of it happening at any one time are very small," he said.