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Inclination of Meteorids and Craters

  1. Dec 14, 2008 #1
    Hi! I have a quick question: Does the angle of impact (inclination) of meteorids effect the radius of craters they create? If so, does the radius increase as the angle increases? (the angle is between 0 and [tex]\frac{\pi}{2}[/tex])
    thank you :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2008 #2
    Small rocks in space are meteoroids. When they enter the earth's atmosphere, they are meteors. When they strike the ground, they are meteorites.

    Yes, low angle impacts are more elongated than more perpendicular impacts, but these angles are relatively low (<15 degrees). For impacts between 45 and 90 degrees, there is virtually no difference in crater radius.

    For more info on the subject, check out "Impact Cratering: a Geological Process" by H.J. Melosh of U. Arizona. This is a top notch book on the subject.
  4. Dec 21, 2008 #3
    well, thanks a lot! :) that was what i observed during the experiment too. (Although it turned out to be wrongly designed as i couldn't stabilize the velocity at the instance of impact between different angles.)
    I guess i will investigate the relation between velocity and crater radius.
    anyway, thank you for your reply.
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