Register to reply

Asteroid Mathematics

by jsmit20
Tags: asteroid, mathematics
Share this thread:
Nov19-04, 11:10 AM
P: 1
I'm doing a very large, externally evaluated math project based on a supposed asteroid impact. The only problem is that I'm having a lot of trouble finding information regarding the average asteroid size, mass, orbital radius and speed, etc. Can anyone help out and maybe give some suggestions - I'm not very well educated in this field.

Phys.Org News Partner Astronomy news on
Smallest known galaxy with a supermassive black hole found
Mystery of rare five-hour space explosion explained
Glowing galaxies in telescopic timelapse
Nov20-04, 11:35 AM
PF Gold
turbo's Avatar
P: 7,363
Just go to Google or another browser and type in the word asteroid along with limiting words like orbit, mass, etc. You'll get more information than you can use.
Nov20-04, 08:36 PM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Chronos's Avatar
P: 9,488
Try here.
You can find a lot of additional information here on asteroid sizes

Nov22-04, 01:46 AM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 1,544
Asteroid Mathematics

"Average asteroid size" is a tricky phrase. I guess it would depend on how small an object could be and still be considered an asteroid. Whatever that number is will contain the most asteroids.

The Earth is much more likely to be struck by a small asteroid that would cause no damage or minimal damage than being struck by something large enough to do local or global damage.

Most asteroids orbit between Jupiter and Mars, and those are not likely to hit Earth. The group of asteroids called NEO or Near Earth Objects, and especially the Earth crossers like Toutatis are the ones likely to hit.

The minimum speed an impact can occur at is ~11 km / s. This is Earth's escape velocity at the surface, and is also the speed at which an object which falls from an initial velocity of 0 will attain when it reaches the surface. But initial velocity will probably not be 0, but somewhere in the ~1-6 km/s range, so a number slightly higher than 11 km/s would be a more realistic impact speed. Comets can impact much faster.
Nov24-04, 10:24 AM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 4,014
The Minor Planet Center (yes, it's in the US!) is the official repository of all things asteroidal (well, orbits etc). It's a delight to surf, you learn all kinds of strange and interesting things (not to mention that it has all the data you need to calculate any set of parameters you'll ever likely need for your project!):

Register to reply

Related Discussions
Destroying An Asteroid. Nuclear Engineering 165
That asteroid... where's it going? Astronomy & Astrophysics 12
Asteroid impacts. Earth 7
Asteroid Orbits Introductory Physics Homework 3
Mass of Asteroid? Introductory Physics Homework 2