Science: Dealing with Threats From Space

Could a meteor start a nuclear war?

It is a sunny afternoon in Karachi, and the streets of Pakistan's largest city are crowded with shoppers, apparently unconcerned about the rising tension between Pakistan and India. Suddenly, a second sun bursts into view overhead, so bright it temporarily blinds thousands and so hot it blisters the skin. Thirty seconds later, the shock wave hits, crumbling buildings and throwing people to the ground. To the Pakistanis, only one explanation is possible for the tremendous blast: India has launched a nuclear attack. They immediately order their bombers, armed with atomic bombs, to strike back at India, which responds in kind. Only...

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