As the dinosaurs on the Earth 64 million years ago discovered, comets and asteroids have the potential for unexpected arrival with devastating consequences.
The spectacular collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in July 1994 dramatically raised awareness and no doubt a little concern amongst the heads of governments across the planet.
Since then, the British government has not really got engaged and so it is left to a handful of skilled and dedicated individuals through Spaceguarduk to provide the UK with its only organisation to address the hazards of Near Earth Objects.
The fireball over Europe in September 2012, demonstrated the risks are with us today.
The Spaceguard Centre was established by Jay Tate in 1997.