eli5 if an 5 km asteroid falls in ocean vs, same mass, smaller size like a footballs falls, in is it less issue?

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Was watching the age of ultron, so they blow up ‘asteroid’, and little peices fall down all is good,

So if there is a big asteroid falling to earth and we blow it up to small little peices, no big tsunami and mushroom cloud to worry about?

I guess it makes sense, but that feels like an easy solution for a complex problem

In: Planetary Science

2 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you broke it into enough small enough bits then yes, it would work. Think about it like this, if it was vaporized and a big cloud of gas hit earths upper atmosphere nothing bad would happen. If it wasn’t vaporized but instead turned to sand, still nothing bad would happen, the sand would all burn up in the upper atmosphere. As the particle size increases this changes though, and at some point there would still be consequences.

The reason for this is surface area. A big sphere has a ton of mass but minimal surface area, so it’ll keep a lot of its velocity through the atmosphere and expose minimal surface area to burn up. Sand has loads of surface area and the individual particles will individually burn up

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