High Winds Could Cause The Loss Of Lives In The Event Of Asteroid Hitting Earth

First Posted: Feb 28, 2017 04:53 AM EST

A new study was conducted on how the asteroid could impact the planet Earth. It indicates that most of the deaths of the impact of the asteroid in case it would hit the planet are caused by high winds.

The study will be published in the upcoming edition of Meteoritic and Planetary Science. It was led by researchers from the University of Southampton.

In the study, the team gauged the number of human casualties that would result from three various impact scenarios. These include a meteor that blows up in the atmosphere (an air burst), a meteorite that hits the ground and one that splashes into the ocean. The results showed that most of the deaths were caused of an intense wind gust that triggers hurricane-like devastation instead of fallings rocks or a wall of intense pressure.

Meanwhile, for the asteroid strike, the effect of it would depend on the size, composition and the speed of the rock impacting the Earth's surface. The NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors the paths of asteroids and other objects with orbits that could collide with Earth. They use predictive tools that include physics-based computer simulations to evaluate the impact threat posed by "near-Earth asteroids" and "potentially hazardous asteroids," according to Phys.org.

Furthermore, in the new study, the team develops two of the scenarios into more detailed case studies in a case of the event of an asteroid hitting a populated area. The first scenario involved a hypothetical object about 50 meters wide that explode in Berlin and London, in what is called an air burst.

The second scenario involves an object about 200 meters wide that forms a crater in the same areas. The speed was about 20 km/s with an angle of entry at 45 degrees. The results showed that total carnage from an asteroid airburst was approximately 1.2 million deaths in Berlin and over 2.8 million deaths in London.

In a case of the impact crater at the middle of each city, there will be 3.5 million dying in Berlin and 8.8 million in London. On the other hand, whether the object hit the city or made it to the ground, still most of the deaths would be the result of striking by the winds. There will be about 85 percent deaths as resulted from being blown about outside or inside a collapsed building in the presence of an airburst. If in case the rock hit the ground, there will be about half of all deaths resulting following the blast of wind, according to Science Alert.

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