Website calculates effects of various asteroid impacts

Nov 08, 2010 by Lisa Zyga weblog
The "Impact: Earth!" asteroid impact effects calculator uses several parameters of an asteroid impact to determine its effects on Earth. Image credit: Impact: Earth!

If you're curious about how big an asteroid needs to be to cause major destruction, the new "Impact: Earth!" asteroid impact calculator can tell you.

Researchers from Purdue University led by Jay Melosh have developed the , which builds on an earlier version that Melosh developed with colleagues at the University of Arizona. Melosh is also working on NASA's EPOXI mission, which flew to within 435 miles of the comet Hartley 2 last week.

Since asteroids can range in size from a few centimeters to hundreds of miles across, their impacts can have a wide variety of effects. While the smaller asteroids harmlessly burn up in the , the larger ones - such as those the size of a small planet - can burn the entire .

The “Impact: Earth!” calculator allows users to input several parameters, such as the diameter, density, impact angle and impact velocity. The calculator then provides information on the impact effects, such as the size of a crater, the possibility of an earthquake or tsunami if it lands in the ocean, the energy before atmospheric entry, the frequency of such an impact, and global effects (for example, whether it will affect the length of a day, the tilt of the Earth's axis, or the Earth's orbit).

To use the calculator, visit http://www.purdue.edu/impactearth.

Explore further: The source of the sky's X-ray glow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A New Twist to Dating an Asteroid

Aug 02, 2005

It turns out you can’t judge an asteroid by its cover, according to a recent study in the journal Nature. Or at least you can’t accurately date a certain asteroid called 433 Eros by counting the impact craters on its ...

Asteroid To Fly By Earth Wednesday Is a Natural

Jan 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Asteroid 2010 AL30, discovered by the LINEAR survey of MIT's Lincoln Laboratories on Jan. 10, will make a close approach to the Earth's surface to within 76,000 miles on Jan. 13 at 12:46 pm ...

NASA spacecraft on final approach toward comet

Nov 02, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The EPOXI mission spacecraft has refined its path toward a Nov. 4 flyby of comet Hartley 2, successfully performing its final maneuver today at 8 a.m. PDT (11 a.m. EDT). The spacecraft burned ...

Small asteroid to pass within Earth-Moon system Tuesday

Oct 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- A small asteroid will fly past Earth early Tuesday within the Earth-moon system. The asteroid, 2010 TD54, will have its closest approach to Earth's surface at an altitude of about 45,000 kilometers ...

Recommended for you

The source of the sky's X-ray glow

14 hours ago

In findings that help astrophysicists understand our corner of the galaxy, an international research team has shown that the soft X-ray glow blanketing the sky comes from both inside and outside the solar system.

End dawns for Europe's space cargo delivery role

23 hours ago

Europe will close an important chapter in its space flight history Tuesday, launching the fifth and final robot ship it had pledged for lifeline deliveries to the International Space Station.

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

Jul 26, 2014

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

Jul 26, 2014

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Bacteria manipulate salt to build shelters to hibernate

Jul 25, 2014

For the first time, Spanish researchers have detected an unknown interaction between microorganisms and salt. When Escherichia coli cells are introduced into a droplet of salt water and is left to dry, b ...

How do we terraform Venus?

Jul 25, 2014

It might be possible to terraform Venus some day, when our technology gets good enough. The challenges for Venus are totally different than for Mars. How will we need to fix Venus?

User comments : 0