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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What if the Perseid meteor shower dropped a big one, which struck the Earth?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) August 13th, 2011

If during the Perseid meteor shower one year a meteor the size of a 45ft motor coach made it to the ground, what would be the effect if it hit in some sparsely populated area like the American South West, the Serengeti, Siberia, etc? What would the effects be if it struck a deep body of water like the mid Pacific? How would the effects change if it where a shallower body of water like the Great Salt Lake, the Gul of Venezuela, the Gulf of Bothnia, etc? What would it be like of it hit a populated area like Bucharest, Chanchun, Patrai, or Rock Springs?

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9 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

If a meteor that size hit Rock Springs, Wyoming, I’m pretty sure they’d call that a civic improvement.

Cruiser's avatar

Even if luck would have it, even a meteor that size would still bounce off my MIL’s thick skull. Saved by the hair spray. ;)

poisonedantidote's avatar

-The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 5.1×106years

-The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.

-The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth’s axis (< 5 hundreths of a degree).

-The impact does not shift the Earth’s orbit noticeably.


Coloma's avatar

What if, hypothetical questions have no true answers.

IF I had a preference it would hit a target area of difficult people, preferably with some sort of homing device specifically for @Cruiser ‘s MIL. lol

wundayatta's avatar

You can kiss your sweet hiney good bye!

LuckyGuy's avatar

Back in 1908 there was the Tunguska impact from a meteor “tens of meters in diameter”. It exploded 8.5 km above the earth with an energy equivalent of ~10–15 Mega tons of TNT. (A very large H-bomb) Fortunately it landed in a remote area of Russia where it “only” leveled 830 sq miles of forest.
I would not want to be in the neighborhood.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@worriedguy The pressure of entry would cause it to expslode before it touched ground? Would that cause a tsunami if over a deep body of water or cause flooding over a smaller body of water? What would that mean to a populated area like Chanchun, China, no survivors? What is your take?

You were suppose to give the Alfred E. Newman, “What, me worry?”

Cruiser's avatar

@Coloma Patent that idea!

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes. If it is ice it will do an air burst. If it is iron core it will do something else. The University of Arizona (if I remember correctly) has simulation software. I used it about 5–6 years ago to study a potential impact 12,000 years ago in Lake Ontario. Look at a map of NY. check out the Finger Lakes and most of the lakes from the St Lawrence to Niagara Falls and note their general direction. They radiate from a single spot in Lake Ontario. If you check bathospheric data you will see that there is a discontinuity significantly deeper than the rest of the area. They call it the Rochester Basin. The tsunami would have reached ~ 100 miles inland.

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