Richie Nover Per. 2
Science Regents Paper
Project One Asteroid, Meteor, or Comet Impact on the Earth!
An asteroid is a small or minor planets that are members of the solar system and move in elliptical orbits. Usually found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. A comet is relatively small, rocky, and icy. It revolves around the sun. When a comet passes close to the sun some of the ice turns to gas. This gas and some loose dust creates a long, bright tail that trails behind the comet. A meteor is a small solid object entering a planets atmosphere from outer space. Meteors sometimes come as fireballs, and shooting or falling stars.
If anyone of these hit the earth, even something relatively small in size, it would do great damage. If a relatively small 200-meter asteroid hit an ocean it would create devastation to all cities near the coast. This is because it would create an enormous wave that would be like a tremendous wall of water that would cause all of the large cities on the coast to be under water. If a one-kilometer asteroid hit the land it would create a dust cloud that would block the sun and all food production would be destroyed. This dust cloud would cover the earth for years and years. A 400-500 kilometer object were to hit, it would evaporate all the oceans on the earth. If a 1500 kilometer object were to hit it would vaporize rocks and other debris, the temperature would rise to 2000k, the atmosphere would exceed 100 times more pressure than now, it would flash steam the oceans, and there would not be a drop of rain for 2000 to 3000 years.
There have been evidences that in the past there have been impacts to our planet. Around 50,000 years ago a meteor hit the earth with around a 20 to 40 megaton explosion. In this area lived mammoths, sloth, bison, packrats, mastodons, mountain goats, camel, horses, and tapirs. At ground zero animals and plants were immediately vaporized. Wind scoured the land in a 3 to 5 km radius from the point of impact. The land was buried by ejected and overturned bedrock. One half of anything within 9 to 14 km would die from the air blasts. But the impact effects would only be severe within an 800 to 1500km area. No global extinction would occur. Yet on the evidence from the impact around 65 million years ago was a global catastrophe. Animal extinctions, plants died, atmosphere black out and vaporization of oceans those were some of the things that come with this impact.
In the case of knowing we are having a catastrophic impact how would we deal with it? For a smaller asteroid we would use evacuations. Also not knowing if they would work, missiles could be aimed towards incoming objects to deflect then away from the earth. And even solar powered motors on the object could also be used to change the direction of the object.
I take the threats of impacts very seriously. But the information I have read in these packets has shown no particularly bad impacts from space for the next hundred to ten thousand years. I feel safe knowing this information. I am for government funding to go towards precautionary measures. Even though its not a very high chance, there is a chance of impacts and they should be dealt with.