How many megatons was the chixculub meteor impact equal to?

  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. If you think that's bad, imagine the kind of damage an asteroid the size of Alaska might cause.
     
  4. 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. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2013
  6. 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. 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. Nugatory

    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. A serious disruption of test cricket.
     
  10. jim hardy

    jim hardy 5,347
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
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