If a meteorite falls on Earth, what will happen to it?

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If a meteorite falls on Earth, what will happen to it?
If a meteorite falls on Earth, what will happen to it?

Meteorites regularly fall on the earth's surface. A careful observer can notice in the environment traces of a fall and older objects. They do not bypass their attention and terrestrial satellites, regularly bombarding their surface. But most of all, the craters left on the Moon and Mars are frightening. Their size and monstrous depth lead to dreary thoughts about what will happen if a meteorite falls to Earth.

Which meteorite is called a fallen one

An example of a fallen meteorite

As a rule, only parts or tiny fragments of a stone that appeared on the earth's surface claim the title of a fallen meteorite. Such a phenomenon occurs under the action of a thermodynamic load, which is exerted by dense regions of the earth's atmosphere. The whole object explodes or splits, forming meteor showers that fall on the surface of the planet. If larger objects pass this barrier without damage, then they leave craters of various sizes, ranging from barely noticeable to giant cavities reaching tens of kilometers.

For an example, remember June 30, 1908.On this day, a meteorite flew over the taiga, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River. It exploded in the air, in close proximity to the Earth. This celestial body left its mark on history under the name of the Tunguska meteorite.

Most small meteorites fall apart at a considerable distance from each other, so they are difficult to find. This phenomenon is called a meteor shower.

Examples of meteorite impacts known to science

For the last 500 years, such serious cosmic bodies have not fallen on the earth's surface to cause a catastrophe on a global scale. All the damage caused by accidentally fallen meteorites can be estimated at several residential buildings and a couple of industrial facilities.

Against their background, meteorites of older eras, which left behind impressive traces on the surface of the planet, seem especially surprising:

  • South Africa, Vredefort crater, diameter 300 km;
  • Russia, Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Popigay crater, diameter 100 km;
  • Canada, Ontario, Sudbury crater, diameter 250 km;
  • Canada, Quebec, Manicouagan crater, diameter 100 km;
  • Mexico, Yucatan Peninsula, Chicxulub crater, diameter 170 km.

The most ancient representative of the found celestial bodies is the Huangshitai meteorite, located in China, in the province of Xi'an. Scientists at Oxford University suggested that this two-ton stone appeared on the earth's surface almost 2 billion years ago. Worthy competition can be made by the heavyweight Goba, who was found in the deserts of Namibia. Its dimensionsamaze the imagination - almost 60 tons!

When a meteorite hits Earth

falling meteorite

Protection of the earth's atmosphere is almost perfect, so extremely large objects fall on the planet's surface extremely rarely. But the threat still remains.

All the means of observation that are in the hands of scientists at the moment can only form an approximate picture of outer space. Yes, recently researchers from the United States, China, Russia, Japan and other countries have created a special system for detecting dangerous space bodies. But she sees what is happening a little further than the earth's surface. Everything else is out of sight of technology, which is undoubtedly its weak point. Therefore, the question of what will happen if a meteorite falls on Earth remains open.

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