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EducationBy Joe Burgett -

What Will Happen If An Asteroid Hits Our Planet And Other Scary Scientific What-Ifs
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What If: An Asteroid Made Landfall

Funny enough, asteroids have hit the Earth before and did nothing worth note. But much larger ones caused mass extinctions in world history. Such as the one that caused the Ice Age to take place. This asteroid was quite large, but an asteroid does not necessarily need to be massive to cause damage. If an asteroid the size of the average New York apartment hits the Earth, it could level a small city. That is because it would likely hit with a great deal of speed. If it landed in the middle of a city, this speed would cause an impact that would increase its damage potential. Let’s look at it in terms of a quarter.

The coin falls and hits the Earth, it would likely be felt but not much. Damage potential would maybe be about 5 to 10 feet max. Now let’s combine two quarters, the damage potential would be 20 to 40 feet. Keep combining and you’ll see a huge issue. The size combines with speed to create damage potential even greater than the size. Extinction level asteroids hit and blocked out sunlight for quite some time, due to dust and smoke rising. This caused global temperatures to drop, because sunlight could not pierce through. We now have some protectors from these asteroids but none of them are guaranteed to work.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

National Public Radio (NPR)

National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

University of Rochester

USA Today

National Center for Science Education

The Independent

Live Science