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: Bad weather delays SpaceX launch with 3-D printer

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

Internet moguls Musk, Bezos shake up US space race

Sep 20, 2014

The space race to end America's reliance on Russia escalated this week with a multibillion dollar NASA award for SpaceX's Elon Musk and an unexpected joint venture for Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos.

Winter in the southern uplands of Mars

Sep 19, 2014

Over billions of years, the southern uplands of Mars have been pockmarked by numerous impact features, which are often so closely packed that they overlap. One such feature is Hooke crater, shown in this ...

Five facts about NASA's ISS-RapidScat

Sep 19, 2014

NASA's ISS-RapidScat mission will observe ocean wind speed and direction over most of the globe, bringing a new eye on tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Here are five fast facts about the mission.

User comments : 0