Professional developer Neil Agarwal is famous for his absurd and funny websites. The other day he presented his new development – Asteroid Launcher. This humorous site allows simulating an asteroid hitting anywhere on Earth. We can already guess which city you will choose for the goal as an experiment.
Asteroid Launcher allows you to choose the size of the asteroid, its composition, the rate of fall and the angle at which the surface will be struck. By default, an iron asteroid with a diameter of 500 m, a falling speed of 17 km/s and a collision angle of 45 degrees is used. Based on the input data, a magnificent animation of an asteroid collision is displayed, accompanied by a bright flash, similar to a nuclear explosion, and the subsequent formation of a crater after the collision. By zooming in on the map, you can even see where the crater boundary is on the map.
Moreover, in the far right tab, you can find detailed information about the results of a meteorite collision: the number of victims at the time of impact and from the shock wave, the power of the explosion in TNT equivalent, the volume of sound, the distance of destruction of houses, wind speed and the number of victims from the reverse aerodynamic wave, as well as the magnitude of the concomitant earthquake. All models are accompanied by animations of fires, earthquakes and shock waves. Try it yourself, it’s very instructive.
On the example of Moscow
As an experiment, we chose an iron asteroid with a diameter of 1 km, which would hit Moscow at a speed of 31 km/s at an angle of 35 degrees. During the collision, a fireball with a diameter of 46 km would be formed. The heat from the fireball could incinerate everything within a radius of 378 km. The power of such an explosion would be 359 gigatons in TNT equivalent. For comparison, all nuclear weapons on Earth would form an explosion with a force of only one gigaton.
The consequences of such a collision would be extremely terrifying. The volume of the explosion would be 247 decibels, the speed of the shock wave would be 5 km/s. The fall of the asteroid would cause an earthquake of magnitude 8.2, which would be felt within a radius of 449 km. After the explosion, a crater with a diameter of 23 km and a depth of 752 m would have formed on the site of the city. The explosion would have killed approximately 8.2 million people.
The most interesting thing is that according to statistics, such collisions happen about once every 2.4 million years.
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