“An asteroid or a supervolcano could certainly destroy us, but we also face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, nuclear war, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.” -Elon Musk
The possibility of getting hit by a wayward asteroid or comet is a scenario that could range from an expensive inconvenience to a mass extinction-level event, depending on the mass and speed of the potential impactor. While recent events like Chelyabinsk and Tunguska — and more energetic ones like Barringer crater and the Cretaceous-ending strike that caused the last mass extinction — remind us how dangerous the Universe can be, that’s nothing compared to what Jupiter experiences.
In 1994, Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 struck Jupiter with the same energy as the dinosaur-killer that struck Earth 65 million years ago, followed just 15 years later by a strike so energetic it hasn’t been seen on Earth in hundreds of thousands of years. Multiple recent events show that collision on Jupiter are far more frequent than we’d expect for its size, and yet gravitation is only part of the rest of the story.