What if An Asteroid Crashes on Our Planet Today?

November 15, 2018
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Natalia

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Imagine a huge asteroid, coming in at blazing speed, hitting the planet earth.

Sky is the limit with what could happen, but one thing is for certain – it would be catastrophic.

How Stuff Works provided an interesting take on what could happen if a big asteroid will hit our planet.

If we were to observe our planet, and even the moon, we would notice that there exist craters that proved that huge objects from space definitely hit our planet. In fact, the most famous asteroid hit our planet 65 million years ago, wherein it dispersed huge amounts of moisture and dust into the atmosphere that it blocked out the sun.

The result? The extinction of the dinosaurs.

But what if an asteroid hit our planet today?

According to experts, any asteroid falling from the sky contains huge amounts of energy. To give you an example, by 2028, a big asteroid will be coming incredibly close to planet Earth, that would be about a mile wide, and has a speed of 30,000 miles per hour.

If we were to compare it to the power of an atomic bomb, it would be roughly about 1 million megatons – and if that were to hit us, you could be very sure that every life on this planet would be eradicated.

But hey, we know it is still difficult to imagine or at least visualize 1 million megatons. Fortunately, How Stuff Works also provided a good visualisation.

If an asteroid the size of a house drops, it would have roughly the same impact of the bomb that was detonated in Hiroshima. This size of asteroid would destroy concrete buildings and everything within a half-mile radius.

On the otherhand, an asteroid the size of a 20-storey building has an amount of energy roughly around the biggest nuclear bomb made today, and would be around 25 to 50 megatons. This size of an asteroid can eradicate major cities in the United States.

With those visualisations in mind, we can now turn to the big one. Let us say an asteroid with a 1 million megaton amount of energy hits the earth, it can destroy everything within a radius of 100 to 200 miles. So, let us say it hits New York City directly, it can destroy everything up to Washington DC, to Boston and would cause significant major damage up to Chicago.

And that’s not all, the amount of dust and debri that will be thrown out due to the explosion would block out the sun and eradicate most of the living things here.

So, there we have it. If an asteroid ever hits our planet, all outcome leads to the eradication of life – no matter the size.

Natalia

Natalia Natalia has worked for various corporations before landing in the outsourcing industry. Proud Geek and now writing a book about her grandmother's recipes. View my other posts