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If Earth was hit by a Meteor

What would happen if our planet was ever to cross paths with a meteor? Well, according to this simulation it would be bad news for everyone and everything. This is a small scene from a Discovery Channel program called "Miracle Planet" which details the scary thought of a 500 km (or 300 miles) wide meteor hitting our planet in our lifetime. The amount of kinetic energy released when it hits would be enough to cause a firestorm powerful enough to vaporize all life on our planet and evaporate all of the Worlds oceans.

After the jump you'll see the same video except without the narration and some music that I think has more "impact" ;) on how powerful an image of a meteor hitting the Earth would be.

YouTube for 1st video - [Link]
YouTube for 2nd video - [Link]

i have an odd question for the astronomy peeps out there... why is it, in the second video, that the meteor is shown as an inwardly-glowing hot item, even when outside of the Earth's atmosphere? that set off a red flag to me, but that gut instinct must be naively wrong. so, what's up with small, scalding hot bodies traveling through our solar system? aren't comets balls of much and "ice?"
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fake, is physically impossible for a celestial object as large, go unnoticed by the giant gravities of jupiter and the physical after the shock wave is too perfect as if there were no reactions mountains
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Take a deep breath and relax. This is Discovery, not ILM.
The main point here is that if a meteor hits, we're boned.

The major lifesaver for us thus far has been the asteroid belt. One planet died or didn't form and we live. Kinda poetic isn't it?
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well, i still think my question is valid. badastronomy dot com often takes popular scifi movies and gets into the reality of the physics and what-not, for fun, and iirc they occasionally pick apart TLC and DISC shows. i was just curious. i might forward this on to an astronomer i know and ask him.
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Yes, comets are, essentially, dirty snowballs but this is an asteroid not a comet. Asteroids are usually made of rock. The composition doesn't matter that much anyway, what matters is the kinetic energy and that depends on the mass and the square of the object's speed. All that kinetic energy has to go somewhere and most of it would end up as heat.

nocedhal, I'm not sure what you're saying but: Jupiter has nothing to do with this. Mountains are too small to have any noticeable effect on something like this; Everest is only 9km high and we're dealing with something 500km in diameter. A billiard ball would be a lot rougher than the Earth if you scaled it up to the size of the Earth.
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Matt is actually right. The only reason the asteroid (and make no mistake, this is an asteroid, not a meteorite) would be glowing initially is if it were cooling from a recent impact. Sloppy job on the part of Discovery Channel or whoever does their CGI, but the point remains that we're well and truly screwed in the unlikely event that something like this happens.

However, nocedhal, it is quite possible for large objects like this to go "unnoticed". We like to think that we've got all the large stuff out there, but they're still finding smaller earth-crossers (~1km) with some regularity that would still cause us a world of hurt.

Furthermore, at the scale of this impact, mountain ranges, ocean floors and other diffraction sources are totally insignificant to the propagating blast wave. It makes a difference when the scale of the object is similar to that of the wave, but not for something this big.
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Don't mean to sound like a doomsday'er or nothing, but in 2029 the asteroid 'Apophis" will zing right past us (closer than even our geo-sync satellites!). Earth's gravity will alter its trajectory just enough that when Apophis comes back around in 2036, it will slam into us. I don't know if it's as big as the one in the video though....

just sayin.
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From the stated speed and measuring the time it takes to reach an apparent diameter of 1/4 the earth, the red-glowing phase occurs ~2000 miles up. This is inside the exosphere, so some heating is possible from that. There's also a consideration of tidal forces, where the leading edge is being pulled on harder than the trailing one.

I haven't run all the numbers, but it's entirely possible that it would be starting to melt down at that height.
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@Some Canadian Skeptic

Apophis is no longer considered as a threat to our planet. No worries there :) First probable impact will be in 16 march 2880 with '1950 DA' but it's not sure it depends on the asteroid's spin pole.

1950 DA is about 1.1 km wide.
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There are many theories out there about the destruction of the world. There is one claim that there will be nuclear war, but the more important claim is one used by Christians. Many Christians believe that one day the world may be hit by a large meteor because of certain verses in the book of Revelation that claim a large rock with destroy a third of men. Both events would lead to a 'nuclear winter.' A nuclear winter would be caused if something like smoke or dust blocked out the sun long enough for the whole earth to cool down, there would be no plant life and all of the earth would be sent into turmoil and death. But there is one problem, the Bible claims that as long as this planet exists there will always be summer and winter. Therefore there cannot be a world wide nuclear winter or anything close to it.

"While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." (Genesis 8:22)

That's the Bible's opinion on the subject.
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Ok if it were that size there would be no Earth left. It would crack the earth in half and nothing would be left. Nice animation though but lets get real.
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i agree with Shawn, the earth will be cracked in two pieces. no worries though, we just move to the bigger piece right before the rock hits.
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I watched the video. It was scary but I did not think it was realistic in the begining. I shows the meteor hovering over Earth like it is being controled by something. It acts more like a space ship. A meteor is not going to hover before it crashes down.
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man this scared the jeepers creepers out of me!I'm not sure when earth will be hit by a meteor or anything as big as it, but if it does,i just hope i die b4 it does it..anyways i was wondering how people are saying the earth is gonna be hit in 2012?how can that be possible to hit on 2012 when said we might get hit on 2029 but then changed to the year 2036?Are people like making up dates and stuff???
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April, 2012 is entirely different. It is based on a Mayan prediction, or rather suggested prediction, that the world will end on December 21, 2012. Here is a site with information about 2012.
The meteor situation is completely different. Apolis is supposed to pass the earth in 2029, but because of gravity there is a 1 in 45,000 chance of the meteor hitting earth in 2036. The meteor is 390 m wide.
There is a second meteor that could possibly hit the earth in 2019, although I don't know very much about that one.
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were all gonna die but is it real im still sad though will we die will we not i am realy realy scared ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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