Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Just how bad can your day get?

Just to cheer up, this is just one of the ways that the world can end, at least for the vast majority of living things that are on this planet. According to my somewhat vague memory for these things, I read that this sort of event had occurred at least six times in the Earth's history. That is not as bad as it seems, as that is six times in the last four billion years.

The awesome amount of power shown is quite incredible. The asteroid diameter is larger than the depth of the atmosphere (ie: over 60km.) The impact area peels the crust off the Earth to a depth of about 10km. Note in this example that Japan is just peeled away, torn up and becomes just part of the debris cloud that falls back to Earth. The result of all of the superheated gasses and debris is a world-wide conflagration. All water is vapourised, so no liquid or solid water exists on the planet at the end. I am not sure of the last scene, as it shows the surface of the Earth with no clouds. I guess it is possible that after the fires have burnt out the atmospheric temperature may be too high for condensation, but I suspect that it is really more for dramatic effect to show no water, and the scale of the devastation is truly planet-wide.

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