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View Diary: Scientific American Gives Details on the Russian Meteor (277 comments)

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  •  Vertical would *definitely* have been worse... (13+ / 0-)

    Any of the many available impact calculators show that, all other factors being equal, the ground damage would have been far worse with a 90 degree entry angle. As it was, the 30-second time-in-atmosphere allowed the impactor's kinetic energy to bleed off relatively slowly. had it instead come straight in, that energy would have been expended in about a tenth of the time--and that, as you might imagine, would have been far worse. That is, we wouldn't be talking about 1,200 injuries a a bunch of broken glass; there's have doubtless been deaths, collapsed buildings, and far more injuries...

    Cogito. Ergo sum ​​atheus.

    by Neapolitan on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:32:12 PM PST

    •  Yep, One of the Tunguska Sci Programs Has (11+ / 0-)

      covered the fact that the original calculations to figure the size of the object had not taken into account the incredible kinetic energy and how the moving blast would shape the shock wave.

      When they finally did that, and the program shows some slo-mo multi colored shock wave video, they realized the object must have been much smaller to create that amount of damage at the speed and angle it did. I think an astronomer yesterday put the flyby asteroid as being on the same scale as the Tunguska object, maybe somewhat smaller.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 03:45:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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