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.