• josephcollins
In summary, the conversation discusses the calculation of the velocity (v) of a meteorite colliding with the Earth, given its initial velocity (u) and the radius of the Earth (Re). The conversation also touches on the potential neglect of potential energy in the calculation, the difference between a meteor and a meteoroid, and the potential for a meteor to hit the Earth at a high relative velocity. Ultimately, the discussion highlights the potential for a surprise collision with a meteor traveling at a high speed.
josephcollins
Hi ppl. I have a short question. A meteorite of mass m has a velocity u=2.00*10^4 m/s when it is at an infinite distance from the earth. It eventually collides with the eath with a velocity v. Calculate v. given are the radius of earth(6.37*10^6m) and go=9.80Nkg^-1)

I used the argument that the change in kinetic energy is going to be equal to 0.5m(v^2-u^2) which also equals GMem/2Re which resolves to goRem/2. Equating and calculating gives 2.15*10^4m/s. Could someone verify that this is correct and that potential energy or total energy is not neglected in my reasoning? thanks, joe

josephcollins said:
I used the argument that the change in kinetic energy is going to be equal to 0.5m(v^2-u^2) which also equals GMem/2Re which resolves to goRem/2.
I don't see why you divided by 2. (The change in PE should equal $g R_e m$)

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Wow! That meteorite had quite the bounce to it to achieve that high and fast of an arc, don't you think?

Or perhaps your prof meant meteor?

;)

I'll bet the prof meant meteoroid on its way to becoming a meteorite. (If the meteoroid burns up--becoming a "shooting star"--then it would be a meteor.)

Regardless, that's one heck of a meteoroid to make it through the atmosphere with no apparent loss of mass.

Most scenarios seem to imply that massive objects hitting our planet would be traveling at a speed that would give days if not weeks of warning.

Is there any reason that a meteor should not hit the Earth at a very high relative velocity? Even one traveling at 80% the speed of light would be difficult to see coming, and hence be something of a surprise!

## 1. What is a meteorite heading towards Earth?

A meteorite heading towards Earth is a piece of debris from space that is on a trajectory towards our planet. It is typically a small, solid object that has survived its journey through Earth's atmosphere and has landed on the surface.

## 2. How often do meteorites head towards Earth?

Meteorites heading towards Earth are relatively common, but most burn up in Earth's atmosphere before reaching the surface. On average, a few small meteorites reach the ground every day, but larger and more destructive meteorites are less frequent.

## 3. Can we predict when a meteorite will hit Earth?

Yes, scientists are able to predict when and where a meteorite will hit Earth. With advanced technology, we can track the trajectory of meteorites and determine their potential impact location and time. However, it is not always possible to predict with complete accuracy.

## 4. What would happen if a large meteorite hit Earth?

If a large meteorite were to hit Earth, it could potentially cause significant damage and destruction depending on its size and location of impact. It could create a crater, trigger earthquakes, and release a large amount of energy, potentially causing tsunamis and other natural disasters.

## 5. What are scientists doing to prevent meteorites from hitting Earth?

Scientists are constantly monitoring and tracking potential meteorite threats to Earth. In addition, there are plans in place for potential deflection or destruction methods if a large meteorite were to be on a collision course with our planet. These include using spacecraft to alter the trajectory of the meteorite or using nuclear weapons to destroy it before impact.

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