Speaking of asteroids

I was wondering, when I saw this picture of the comet Rosetta, what would happen if it hit the earth at 100,000 miles per hour, or 250,000. How far into the ground do you think it would penetrate? How many megaton equivalents of explosion would we experience?

comet_v_la

  • 50 megatons?
  • 100 megatons?
  • 200 megatons?

There is an interesting little app called nukemap,  at http://nuclearsecrecy.com/nukemap/

Go there. Select some area with which you are familiar. Drop a 50 megaton bomb on it. (The largest yield of an American nuke is 9 megatons). See what happens.

Now try to imagine what would happen to the western United States if something the size of the Rosetta hit Los Angeles (pictured above) at high speed, such as we see in asteroids accelerating toward earth for a few million miles.

 

141112_Philae_3km_scale