Back in the day when I was an MP, I warned the House of Commons that the chances of an impact by a 'Near Earth Object' - more commonly known as a comet or asteroid - are 100%. Worse still, I claimed the chance of an incoming object large enough to wipe out most, or all, of the human race is also 100%. It's just a matter of 'when.' People laughed, a lot. They thought that this was one wacky campaign too many. One paper showed a picture of me with the title MP to blame for the end of the world. But I knew my ground, as my grandfather, Ernst Öpik, was one of the world's leading astronomers on this subject.