4 Asteroid Impact Simulators To Show You How Deadly Space Rocks Can Be

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 - 12:46PM
Astrophysics
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 - 12:46PM
4 Asteroid Impact Simulators To Show You How Deadly Space Rocks Can Be

Last weekend, asteroid RC 2014, which is roughly the size of a large house, came within just 25,000 miles of Earth. Despite a number of active efforts to identify and track potentially hazardous objects, experts only became aware of RC 2014 just one week before it's closest approach to Earth. Scientists have been banging the drum about increasing funding for asteroid detection initiatives for some time now, and this latest close call will only serve to strengthen their arguments. 

 

So, just why is asteroid detection so important? Well, these 4 brilliantly terrifying asteroid impact simulators allow you to find out what would happen if one of these space rocks actually slammed into Earth. 

 

1. Down to Earth

Created by a team at the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Down to Earth allows you to change a number of standard variables for you asteroid, including the type of material it is made of, its size, and the speed and angle at which it strikes our lovely pale blue dot of a planet. Best/Worst of all, you can choose where in the world you want your asteroid to strike and view how large the crater would be.

 

2. Impact Earth

Created by Purdue University, Impact Earth allows you to change all of the standard variables for your asteroid strike while also giving a few default settings such as size comparisons to everything from a Humpback Whale to Asia. Once you've plugged in your data, Impact Earth calculates the impact and reels off a number of stats regarding Impact Radiation, Global Damages and the potential Tsunami effect caused by an ocean strike.

 

3. Killer Asteroids

Arguably one of the most visual and therefore terrifying, Killer asteroids has a limited number of criteria to play around with. However, what it lacks in technical specs, it makes up for in interactive detail. Select your space rock's size and type, then decide whether you want to level a particular place or make a random hit, and boom....you're given an idea of what effect that impact would have on your chosen target. If your object strikes land, it shows what the blast radius would do to buildings and people, and if it strikes water, it gives you an idea of how big the Tsunami waves would be. Absolutely bloody terrifying.

 

 

4. Asteroid Impact Calculator

If the first 3 were a little too limited or visual, this throwback from simpler times is the impact calculator for you. There are no images of destruction, no drop down menus and no fancy graphics...this is a data geek's dream!

 

Science
Space
Astrophysics