# What to do if a giant meteor is coming at you

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That's 50 meters across though which is pretty big, I as thinking more like 1 meter across at most. Most of the meteors that burn up into the atmosphere are around the size of dust particles, maybe a few cubic centimeters sometimes too. If maybe there was some approximate number for the rate that a meteor converts kinetic energy to thermal energy via friction with the atmosphere, I could use it.

If half of the Arizona meteorite was vaporized during its descent then half of its initial kinetic energy was released into the atmosphere.

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If half of the Arizona meteorite was vaporized during its descent then half of its initial kinetic energy was released into the atmosphere.

I see, so your saying the meteor has to be quite large to not completely vaporize, but there's small meteors all over the planet that weren't a ton bigger when they entered the atmosphere or they would have been on the news. I guess maybe that one in Chile. There's also when meteors explode, which is that sometimes meteors will spontaneously explode when heated up like that.

We can't say for sure that half of a meteor's energy will be thermal and the other half will be kinetic though, because some vaporize completely and others don't vaporize that much at all, we need an actual number for the rate at which a meteor vaporizes and releases thermal energy.

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I see, so your saying the meteor has to be quite large to not completely vaporize, but there's small meteors all over the planet that weren't a ton bigger when they entered the atmosphere or they would have been on the news. I guess maybe that one in Chile. There's also when meteors explode, which is that sometimes meteors will spontaneously explode when heated up like that.

We can't say for sure that half of a meteor's energy will be thermal and the other half will be kinetic though, because some vaporize completely and others don't vaporize that much at all, we need an actual number for the rate at which a meteor vaporizes and releases thermal energy.

No, I didn't mean that, I ment that smaller pieces will vaporize more of its body than larger pieces if the material is equal and a rocky piece will likely vaporize more of its body than a denser metallic piece would.

But my point still stands, even a very small piece of pebble size will release most of its kinetic energy violently as thermal energy during impact.

Edited by Spyman
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No, I didn't mean that, I ment that smaller pieces will vaporize more of its body than larger pieces if the material is equal and a rocky piece will likely vaporize more of its body than a denser metallic piece would.

But my point still stands, even a very small piece of pebble size will release most of its kinetic energy violently as thermal energy during impact.

Well how about we make them a little bigger then? We can make meteorites a decent size without them actually making giant craters. The speed of the asteroid would likely be slowed down by earlier failed attempts too.

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i would place a nuclear weapon on it so would be in a crater and detonate it and hope that a significant amount of the detonation energy would be transferred into kinetic energy and be transferred into the object at a right angle to the trajectory

like in stargateSG1.

Edited by dragonstar57
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i would place a nuclear weapon on it so would be in a crater and detonate it and hope that a significant amount of the detonation energy would be transferred into kinetic energy and be transferred into the object at a right angle to the trajectory

like in stargateSG1.

Yeah, nukes on the meteor itself seem like it would be a good idea, I didn't know we had the technology to land on a meteor and plant a nuke, so I'd always imagined there would be some kind of missile that was just designed to detonate based on proximity, since it's a pretty hard shot to make, but there should be testing to make sure releasing enough energy to destroy and/or very quickly deflect $2.5*10^8*10^8kg$ of mass doesn't destroy a large portion of the oozone or really damage Earth that much at all.

Edited by questionposter
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Yeah, nukes on the meteor itself seem like it would be a good idea, I didn't know we had the technology to land on a meteor and plant a nuke, so I'd always imagined there would be some kind of missile that was just designed to detonate based on proximity, since it's a pretty hard shot to make, but there should be testing to make sure releasing enough energy to destroy and/or very quickly deflect $2.5*10^8*10^8kg$ of mass doesn't destroy a large portion of the oozone or really damage Earth that much at all.

unless we intercept it at a significant distance we are doomed.

haven't seen any plans that would work if it was at close range

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Well how about we make them a little bigger then? We can make meteorites a decent size without them actually making giant craters. The speed of the asteroid would likely be slowed down by earlier failed attempts too.

You are not addressing my main argument, what difference would it make if the kinetic energy is released thermally by vaporization high up in the atmosphere or thermally down at the surface in the impact when the bodies gets deformed by the collisions?

It is the same total energy, even if the size is small as a pebble where it wont make any giant crater, it will still convert its kinetic energy.

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Yeah, nukes on the meteor itself seem like it would be a good idea, I didn't know we had the technology to land on a meteor and plant a nuke, so I'd always imagined there would be some kind of missile that was just designed to detonate based on proximity, since it's a pretty hard shot to make, but there should be testing to make sure releasing enough energy to destroy and/or very quickly deflect $2.5*10^8*10^8kg$ of mass doesn't destroy a large portion of the oozone or really damage Earth that much at all.

at a large range a small change in the path would compound as it traveled. if the explosion just changes the trajectory by a tenth of a degree that might be enough to turn a direct hit into a near miss and saving the earth from the impact.

you seem to be thinking about it as if it would be the explosives equivalent of hitting a baseball with a bat and having it sour off into spacethe outfield .

it would be more like a course correction for a satellite than a batting in a baseball game just need to accelerate it a little at a right angle to its path and it will miss to one side or the other.

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ok i'm going to make an assumption and assume that the asteroid has a high iron concentration.

what if we shot it with a series of high speed magnetized projectiles? each one would hit it and would decrease the speed of the object.

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