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Impact. The Solar System. Nine Eight Planets Over 170,000 catalogued asteroids ???? Centaurs ???? KBO’s (including one disgruntled ex-planet) Millions of Comets. Impact Mechanics. Energy of motion turns into heat 10-m rock at 20 km/sec = 150 kt = 10 Hiroshima atomic bombs

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Presentation Transcript

The solar system
The Solar System

  • Nine Eight Planets

  • Over 170,000 catalogued asteroids

  • ???? Centaurs

  • ???? KBO’s (including one disgruntled ex-planet)

  • Millions of Comets


Impact mechanics
Impact Mechanics

  • Energy of motion turns into heat

  • 10-m rock at 20 km/sec = 150 kt = 10 Hiroshima atomic bombs

  • Energy released in seconds

  • Impacting object destroyed

  • Crater 20-30 times diameter of impacting object

  • Crater is round regardless of approach path


The impact process
The Impact Process

  • Atmospheric Entry

  • Contact-Compression

  • Penetration – Transient Crater

  • Excavation

  • Collapse








Tycho 93 km moon
Tycho (93 km) Moon








Comets and planetary history
Comets and Planetary History

  • Superposition

  • Crater Saturation

  • Crater Degradation





Recognizing craters on earth
Recognizing Craters on Earth

  • Craters rapidly destroyed by erosion

  • Circular geologic structures

  • Impact melts

  • Impact breccias

  • Shock metamorphism

  • Shatter cones






Mega impacts as usual gary larson gets there first
Mega-Impacts: As Usual, Gary Larson Gets There First



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