What if an asteroid hits the earth

What if an asteroid hits the earth

At the end of July, the OK asteroid passed near the Earth in 2019. If Warsaw were to be attacked, the entire central Poland would be in danger. Crater researcher Dr. Anna Łosiak said that after an asteroid impact, a crater with a diameter of several kilometers and a depth of 400 m will be formed.

At the end of July this year. (25.07) Asteroid 2019 OK flies over the earth. She is very close: only one-fifth of the distance between the earth and the moon. The diameter of the object is between 60 and 130 m (more precise calculation results are not yet known). It covers 24 kilometers in one second-a speed that only the fastest spacecraft can reach.

Dr. Anna Łosiak, an asteroid crater researcher at the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the University of Exeter, said: “If this asteroid hits the earth, it will produce a crater with a diameter of 2-4 kilometers and a depth of 400 m.” He added Said that its crater is even bigger than the famous crater in Arizona. About 50,000 of the craters mentioned above were created. Many years ago, it was 1.3 kilometers in diameter and 170 m deep, and was formed by an asteroid about 50 m in diameter.

Dr. Łosiak is part of his research work, studying asteroid impact craters and studying the impact of future space objects hitting the earth. “I want to understand how dangerous these phenomena are. So, for example, if we know that within three days, an asteroid with a diameter of 50 m will hit a specific location on Earth-then we should also know whether to go from 5 km, 100 km or Regional evacuation of 10,000 people. Kilometers He emphasized that it is important to avoid tragedies.

He added that if it is known that asteroids like 2019 OK will fall in Warsaw-the entire Mazovia region must be evacuated. The threat is not only a collapsed football field, but also rocks thrown from the crash site. “They are spreading in the area faster than bullets.” The researchers said. He added that if an asteroid collapses, it will also produce shock waves within a radius of several hundred kilometers. She said: “For most witnesses, this will be a strong wind blowing through the broken windows of the trees.

The works of Dr. Łosiak and others are in an experiment that simulates a meteor impact. Scientists use two layers of cannons to disperse balls of various materials with a diameter of 3-5 mm to a speed of 5-10 kilometers per second. The experiment was carried out in a vacuum, so the missile would not lose speed. Observing the process and effects of such an impact can develop an asteroid impact model with various parameters.

Asked if scientists have ever managed to predict the impact of an asteroid impact-Dr. Łosiak confirmed. “In 2008, a known asteroid will hit Sudan. Scientists predict that it will fall into the desert, and evacuation is unnecessary. They predict that what will hit the earth is very small,” he said. As he added, these predictions have been confirmed.

As part of his work, Dr. Łosiak studied rocks from small impact craters formed by asteroids around the world. These rocks are the only witnesses of past disasters. Poland only recorded the crater after the impact of an asteroid, Morasko. They were created about five thousand. Many years ago”-researchers said. The asteroid is 3-4 m long and weighs about 900 tons. It rushes into the atmosphere and breaks down into several pieces. He said: “The largest crater is 100 meters in diameter and is located in Poznan , Can be seen with the naked eye.

It is believed that asteroids contributed to the mass extinction of dinosaurs. Dr. Łosiak said that the diameter of this object is 10 kilometers, and the remaining Mexican crater after the fall is 180 kilometers long. For the dinosaurs, this is a very unfortunate event. A large amount of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide were released from the rocks that the asteroid subsequently fell, causing huge climate disturbances to the earth. Nuclear winter is here-the researchers said.

She added that if this disaster were to happen again now, it could be the end of civilization as we know it.

Researchers pointed out that the earth is constantly being attacked by space objects, but almost no object can overcome the obstacles of the atmosphere. Most space objects in the atmosphere-including due to friction-will heat up to very high temperatures, burn and break down into very small pieces, making them unable to reach the earth.

“So far, only about 196 asteroid impact craters have been recorded on our planet. The oldest of them is 2 billion years old”-informed the researchers.

Why is the earth not as heavy as the moon? Dr. Łosiak said that this is due to our atmosphere and also due to the active geology of our planet. The tectonic plates of the earth are always active, and impact craters can be crushed, melted and pressed below the surface of the earth. Erosion is also important because it obscures the traces of ancient craters. It is also important that most of the surface of our planet is covered by water. And at the bottom of the reservoir, craters either didn’t form (because the asteroid slowed down due to water), or they couldn’t be found.

Dr. Łosiak pointed out that cosmic debris has fallen on Mars more than it has fallen on Earth. The atmosphere of the red planet is not as dense as the earth, and this planet is closer to the asteroid belt than ours. Therefore, “Meteor” landed there more often. They will have to take this into consideration for future Martian colonists.

Dr. Łosiak’s research was funded by the ImpChar project funded by Marie Skłodowska Curie Personal Scholarship.

PAP-Polish Science, Ludwika Tomala

lt / zan /