Asteroid Launcher: Know the Asteroids' Impact on Your City
If you are one of those people who have watched Armageddon one too many times, you may have thought about how you would react if an asteroid were heading to your hometown. Now you don't have to imagine what would happen- because you can experience a real-life simulation with the new Asteroid Launcher web app. Spoiler alert, for most of you, it isn't going to end well.
Will the World Come to An End?
The largest asteroid-type event, without a doubt, was the Chicxulub asteroid which struck the earth 66 million years ago and is believed to be the reason why dinosaurs went extinct. With the sophisticated science tools of today, we now know that it is unlikely a similar asteroid would be close to Earth to create similar damage. However, that doesn't stop anyone, from filmmakers to kids staring at their bedroom walls, from thinking about it.
There is a certain allure to thinking about the type of cataclysmic effect of an asteroid striking earth. Partially because it seems like a valid half-reality and partially because it is a doomsday prediction that came true for our late dino friends.
Introducing the Asteroid Launcher
The Asteroid Launcher web app is a simulator that is modeled after the papers of Dr. Clemens Rumpf and Dr. Gareth Collins and is the first tool that offers some reality to an Armageddon-like event. The simple-to-use app allows you to find your location on a map and then choose a type of asteroid based on impact angle, speed, and diameter.
Once all of your information is input, hit "Launch Asteroid" and sit back to watch disaster unfold. From an actual estimate of how many people would be vaporized to how large of a crater the asteroid will leave behind, the horrific details should be enough to keep most junior astrologers satisfied. Other fun details include how many people in your city would emerge with 3rd-degree burns, the estimated size of the fireball, and how many people the fireball would vaporize.
NASA Has Plans to Prevent Armageddon
While the app can certainly lead to nightmares, it is highly unlikely that any asteroid of significant size would ever hit the earth, and NASA does actually have a backup plan if such a situation were to arise. NASA just started construction on the Neo Surveyor, a space telescope whose sole purpose is to hunt asteroids. The next-generation telescope will be launched as part of a campaign of planetary defense efforts and is designed to spot all potentially hazardous objects that get too close to the Earth.
While that makes the Asteroid Launcher more of a sci-fi-based app, it is comforting to know it's just an app and not a predictor of the future.
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