Impact events appear to have played a significant role in the evolution of the Solar System since its formation. Major impact events have significantly shaped Earth's history, have been implicated in the formation of the Earth–Moon system, the evolutionary history of life, the origin of water on Earth and several mass extinctions. Notable impact events include the Late Heavy Bombardment, which occurred early in history of the Earth–Moon system and the Chicxulub impact, 66 million years ago, believed to be the cause of the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

Throughout recorded history, hundreds of Earth impacts (and exploding bolides) have been reported, with some occurrences causing deaths, injuries, property damage or other significant localised consequences.[1] One of the best-known recorded impacts in modern times was the Tunguska event, which occurred in Siberia, Russia, in 1908. The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteorevent is the only known such event to result in a large number of injuries, and the Chelyabinsk meteor is the largest recorded object to have encountered the Earth since the Tunguska event.