Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How many megatons was the chixculub meteor impact equal to?

  1. Jan 18, 2013 #1
    How many megatons was the pre-historic chixculub meteor impact equal to?

    This was estimated to be millions of times more powerful than the cumulative explosive power of all of the nuclear weapons in the world combined.

    It caused the extinction of most life on Earth during that time (namely the dinosaurs) and even caused the oceans to evaporate. This meteor was about 6 miles in diameter.

    If a 6-mile meteor is capable of doing that, imagine the kind of damage an asteroid the size of Texas could do.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2013 #2
    If you think that's bad, imagine the kind of damage an asteroid the size of Alaska might cause.
     
  4. Jan 18, 2013 #3
    I thought that Texas was about as big as they get?

    Apparently Mars was hit by a Texas-sized asteroid several billion years ago..

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/01/mars-dynamo-death/
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  5. Jan 18, 2013 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  6. Jan 19, 2013 #5
    Supposedly, billions of years ago, Earth collided with a planet the size of Mars.

    Somehow, the planet survived, and the fractured pieces of crust is what eventually formed the moon.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_impact_hypothesis
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  7. Jan 21, 2013 #6
    Just being picky, but the moon is composed primarily of mantle material from the proto-Earth, rather than crust. The impact hypothesis only became plausible after we had had the opportunity to examine the Apollo rocks.
     
  8. Feb 24, 2013 #7

    Nugatory

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Wikipedia says 100 teratons, which is 100,000,000 megatons. Wise people will do their own math instead of trusting wikipedia, so if you want give it a try...

    One megaton is about 5x1015 Joules. The energy in Joules of the impact will be [itex]\frac{mv^2}{2}[/itex] where v is in meters/sec and m is in kilograms. Make some reasonable assumptions about the size, density, and speed of the meteor, and see what you come up with.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2013 #8
    A serious disruption of test cricket.
     
  10. Feb 25, 2013 #9

    jim hardy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Discussions: How many megatons was the chixculub meteor impact equal to?
  1. Tunguska meteor (Replies: 1)

Loading...