Whilst on the road trip my friend and I made a stop at Meteor Crater in Arizona. The crater was created by a meteorite 50,000 years ago. The crater is 700 feet deep and over 4000 feet across.
The phamphlet of information we were given explained the impact, "over 175 million tons of limestone and sandstone were abruptly thrown out to form a continuos blanket of debris surrounding the crater for a distance of over a mile. Large blocks of limestone, the size of small houses were heaved onto the rim. Flat-lying beds of rock in the crater walls were overturned in fractions of a second and uplifted permanently as much as 150 feet. Fragments of rock and iron-nickel, some as large as a few feet across, were thrown as far as several miles away."
Naturally, as a disasterologist I couldn't help but envision what would happen if this had impacted a populated area. As I've noted in previous blogposts, I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Neil deGrasse Tyson frequently lectures on the asteroid that may hit the earth on Friday April 13, 2029. The museum at the site of the crater was full of speculation.
There was also a big display on the Torino Scale, which I then lectured my poor unsuspecting friend about for quite awhile.
|poor unsuspecting friend|