Geophysics

What would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Any asteroid falling to Earth from the sky would have a huge amount of energy. The mile-wide asteroid 1997XF11 is traveling along a trajectory that will bring it close to Earth in 2028, though it is expected to miss us. If it were to hit the Earth, it would strike the surface at about 30,000 mph (48,280 kph) with roughly the energy of a 1 million-megaton bomb. This impact would probably wipe out most life on the planet. Because of its incredible velocity, even an asteroid "just" the size of a normal house would have about as much energy as the atomic bomb that the United States used to destroy Hiroshima. So if an asteroid hits the Earth, we're all in big trouble.

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