Simulate the Damage Caused by Comet and Asteroid Collisions with Impact: Earth!

impact earthOn Friday, the world had its eyes focused on the big asteroid flyby. For weeks, we knew it was coming, and we watched it buzz by with mild curiosity. But, that same day, we were all caught off guard by a ten-ton meteorite that blasted into the Siberian town of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,200 people and causing considerable structural damage. (Watch footage here.) This abrupt and unexpected event has given governments a reason to start taking the risk of asteroid impacts a bit more seriously. And it might renew interest in a tool created by scientists at Purdue University and Imperial College London in 2010.

In a nutshell, Impact: Earth! is an interactive tool that lets anyone calculate the damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it happened to collide with our planet. You can customize the size and speed of the incoming object, and then find out if mankind survives. (Usually it does.) A grainy primer appears below. You can enter the website and start running your own scenarios right here.

via @moseshawk

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.