In movies like Armageddon, Hollywood has tried (and failed) to take the question of what would happen if a comet or asteroid plunged into the oceans on earth, but what did scientific research actually determine it could look like?
America's National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has posted a new video illustrating what could happen if an asteroid crashes into one of our oceans, and it is fascinating.
Based on data collected by Los Alamos National Laboratory Scientists Galen R. Gisler and John M. Pachett, referred to as the Deep Water Impact Ensemble Data Set, the simulations show asteroids of different sizes come in the water of different angles. It is the weight and size of the aftermath that is the true stunning part.
In the full video, you can see a comparison between two variables: one does not affect any airburn (250 meters, or 820 feet, asteroid hits the ocean intact), and one with an airburn (when the same asteroid number breaks Up in pieces before it hits). The dataset outlines more asteroid sizes.
The video simulation also compares different angles to which the asteroid can hit the body of water. A more oblique angle, the data points, would be more likely to generate a tsunami.
Here's the visualization in all its mesmerizing glories:
The video is presented by the NCAR 2018 IEEE VIS SciVis Contest, a major niche and prestigious event dedicated to the visualization of deep water asteroid impacts Held in Berlin in October. It was awarded the third place with an income reference.
There is very little chance of an asteroid striking ground instantly – about 5,000-foot (1.5 km) asteroid is only estimated to be in the ground approximately every 1 million years. The researchers have spotted about 3,600-foot asteroid (1.1 km) in space that could hit Earth in 860 years, but it has a 0.3 percent chance of doing so.
So, what do it all at? It's all about being prepared.
According to the data release report by Gisler and Pachett, NASA is keeping a close eye on asteroids potentially dangerous to earth. Asteroids that can potentially hit Earth would most likely fall into the ocean, the report adds, which may have serious vehicles for populated coastal areas.
"The Planetary Defense Coordination Office NASA is interested in learning the low size limit of dangerous asteroids, so focus resources on finding all larger objects that potentially threaten the earth," says the report.
"Because most of the planet's surface is water, which is where asteroids will most likely impact," it continues. "The observation has taken a serious debate over the past two decades on how dangerous the impact-induced waves or tsunamis are on populated shoreline."
Essentially, the more we know about an asteroid-produced tsunami looks like, the better prepared we can be – even if the chances of this event are very, very little.