The Physics Of Stopping A Meteor With One Punch

“Imagine that you’re just a normal human who’s trained hard to become the strongest hero, and from what you can tell, perhaps that’s exactly what you are. Now you’ve got to face your toughest challenge ever: a meteor the size of a small mountain is headed towards Earth, and the impact is slated to occur right in your city in a matter of seconds. When it hits, if nothing slows it down, it will release tens of thousands of Megatons’ worth of TNT of energy: the equivalent of a hundred hydrogen bombs going off all at once. And the only defense is you.”

The idea of stopping a meteor headed towards our planet with nothing but a superpowered human being sounds like a physical impossibility. But if you had a powerful enough, strong enough, fast enough human, it could be done, so long as you obeyed the laws of physics and conserved energy and momentum. The speed your human would need to hit the meteor with would be tremendous; there would need to be something special about this human’s atoms to keep them from flying apart; the energy released by the in-air explosion would be catastrophically huge. But it could, in fact, save the city – or the entire planet – that it would have completely annihilated otherwise.

Go and learn the physics of how to stop a meteor with one punch, and how strong and fast you’d have to be to do it!


Earth is about to pass through the tail of Halley’s Comet,

This will start around April 20th and will continue right up until May 21st. The best time to view them will be in the small hours between May 5 and 7, when the sky will be the darkest during the new Moon.

The specks and flecks you’ll be seeing are tiny pieces of debris from Halley’s Comet hitting Earth’s atmosphere and burning up. They’re called the Eta Aquarids as they appear to emerge from the constellation of Aquarius.

The shower will be more visible in the southern hemisphere. However, those in the northern hemisphere should be able to catch the odd one, especially if you’re near the equator. At their peak time, those in the southern hemisphere can expect to see up to 30 meteors every hour. If weather conditions are favorable, even those north of the equator can still see up to 10 every hour.

The Eta Aquarids happens every year thanks to Halley’s comet. It takes the comet about 75 years to travel around the sun, but Earth passes through the tail of the comet around April/ May every year.
Halley’s comet is projected to directly pass by the Earth again in 2061.


Fireball meteor lit up the night sky over Scotland

A bright fireball blazed over Scotland on Monday, according to witnesses who reported the sighting to the American Meteor Society. Fireballs are stray meteors that barrel into Earth’s atmosphere at speeds that range from 25,000 mph to 160,000 mph. They slow down considerably after hitting the atmosphere. Why we may be seeing more of these soon.

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What are Perseid Meteors, and why should you be excited for them this year? Let us tell you!

The Perseid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet Swift-Tuttle as it swings through the inner solar system and ejects a trail of dust and gravel along its orbit. When the Earth passes through the debris, specs of comet-stuff hit the atmosphere at 140,000 mph and disintegrate in flashes of light. Meteors from this comet are called Perseids because they seem to fly out of the constellation Perseus.

Last year, this meteor shower peaked during a bright “supermoon”, so visibility was reduced. Luckily, forecasters say the show could be especially awesome this year because the Moon is nearly new when the shower peaks on Aug. 12-13.

The best place to view the event is away from city lights around midnight. Under a clear, dark sky forecasters predict meteor rates as high as 100 per hour on peak night. So, get outside, look up and enjoy the show!

If your area has poor visibility on the peak night, we’ve got you covered! We’ll be hosting a live broadcast about the meteor shower from 10 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Aug. 12, to 2 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. In addition to footage from our live skycam, the program will highlight the science behind the Perseids, as well as our research related to meteors and comets. Tune in on NASA TV or our UStream Channel.


Meteor strikes Thailand twice in 3 months.

The first ( seen in the first animation) took place on September 7 and the second one on the second of November. They were initially thought to be some plane crashes, but were later confirmed to be small meteor showers.

Just that you know this happens all the time in our atmosphere and there is nothing to be alarmed about.


Here is yet another spectacular but dangerous meteorite crash in Russia that occurred waay back in 2012. Caused quite a stir!

Sources: video-1 , video -2 , video-3.