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Thread: Meteorite impacts.

  1. #1 Meteorite impacts. 
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    What is the significance of angle of attack in terms of potential damage caused by the impact of a meteorite? My thinking, being a civil engineer and hence no expert on the subject, is that the two 'recent' sizeable 'impacts' were in fact air bursts, Tunguska and Chelyabinsk. The second, well photographed event, was clearly a shallow angle, which would have caused a great deceleration due to the distance travelled through the atmosphere. I presume that we do not know the angle of attack for Tunguska, not really witnessed or site investigated for a lengthy time later. Classic meteorite impacts, Barringer Crater and Chicxulub appear to be fairly circular craters, to the amateur, which would imply a vertical impact hence less atmosphere to traverse, hence assuming similar initial velocities impact velocity high. How come USSR got so lucky? Do we know the impact angle of the craters? What would be the effect of an air burst over the sea and the same for an air burst over the ocean? The recent 'impacts' would have been a lot more damaging with a vertical angle of attack.


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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Impacting bolides create circular craters unless their impact angle is very low - around 15 degrees or less, I think.

    The Tunguska object had many eye-witnesses, but we know how unreliable eye witness testimony is.

    Blast effects over the ocean would be relatively benign. You wouldn't want to be at ground zero in a small fishing boat, but objects of this size would not generate tsunamis.


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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Maybe this has some info you need?

    Meteor Distance vs. Meteor Zenith Angle

    Not sure what this is all about, but it has my university's tag on the page so it has to be useful, right?

    Earth Impact Effects Program
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1stminutewinner View Post
    meteorite impacts, Barringer Crater ............
    Surprisingly, to me, having visited "Meteor Crater" many times, and flown over it, no evidence was ever found of materials (nickel, etc.) suggesting a meteorite strike were ever found there, despite boring into the crater's pit. jocular
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by 1stminutewinner View Post
    meteorite impacts, Barringer Crater ............
    Surprisingly, to me, having visited "Meteor Crater" many times, and flown over it, no evidence was ever found of materials (nickel, etc.) suggesting a meteorite strike were ever found there, despite boring into the crater's pit. jocular
    It surprises me that you think this, since many fragments of the impactor have been discovered. Wikipedia is a good place to start, but there are many papers available through Google scholar that discuss the geochemistry, mineralogy, and distribution of the fragments. (I mean scores, possibly hundreds of papers on the subject.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canyon_Diablo_(meteorite)
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    john, I think joc was refering to the guy who bought the crator thinking he was going to strike it rich with an iron(or other metal?) meteorite deposit

    ...
    (but, then again, I could be wrong)
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The phrase no evidence was ever found is pretty damn absolute. If he meant that no single large body was ever found, as Barringer believed would be the case, then he should have said so. Either way I don't like leaving errors of fact uncorrected.
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  9. #8  
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    Thanks for the nudge towards Earth Impact Effects Program. Just what I was looking for. This algorithm should answer all my questions. Following up therefore with great interest.
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