Earth Impact Effects Program

Robert Marcus, H. Jay Melosh, and Gareth Collins

Please note: the results below are estimates based on current (limited) understanding of the impact process and come with large uncertainties; they should be used with caution, particularly in the case of peculiar input parameters. All values are given to three significant figures but this does not reflect the precision of the estimate. For more information about the uncertainty associated with our calculations and a full discussion of this program, please refer to this article

Your Inputs:

Distance from Impact: 500.00 km ( = 311.00 miles )
Projectile diameter: 370.00 meters ( = 1210.00 feet )
Projectile Density: 4328 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 868.00 km per second ( = 539.00 miles per second ) (Your chosen velocity is higher than the maximum for an object orbiting the sun)
Impact Angle: 90 degrees
Target Density: 2500 kg/m3
Target Type: Sedimentary Rock


Energy before atmospheric entry: 4.32 x 1022 Joules = 1.03 x 107 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size somewhere on Earth during the last 4 billion years is 2.8 x 107years

Major Global Changes:

The Earth is not strongly disturbed by the impact and loses negligible mass.
The impact does not make a noticeable change in the tilt of Earth's axis (< 5 hundreths of a degree).
The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

Atmospheric Entry:

The projectile begins to breakup at an altitude of 104000 meters = 342000 ft
The projectile reaches the ground in a broken condition. The mass of projectile strikes the surface at velocity 859 km/s = 533 miles/s
The impact energy is 4.23 x 1022 Joules = 1.01 x 107MegaTons.
The broken projectile fragments strike the ground in an ellipse of dimension 0.505 km by 0.505 km

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

Crater shape is normal in spite of atmospheric crushing; fragments are not significantly dispersed.

Transient Crater Diameter: 34.7 km ( = 21.6 miles )
Transient Crater Depth: 12.3 km ( = 7.62 miles )

Final Crater Diameter: 55.4 km ( = 34.4 miles )
Final Crater Depth: 991 meters ( = 3250 feet )
The crater formed is a complex crater.
The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 377 km3 = 90.4 miles3
Roughly half the melt remains in the crater, where its average thickness is 398 meters ( = 1310 feet ).

Thermal Radiation:

What does this mean?

Time for maximum radiation: 81.2 milliseconds after impact

Visible fireball radius: 50.1 km ( = 31.1 miles )
The fireball appears 22.8 times larger than the sun
Thermal Exposure: 5.23 x 107 Joules/m2
Duration of Irradiation: 15.1 minutes
Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 57.7

Effects of Thermal Radiation:

Seismic Effects:

What does this mean?

The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 1.67 minutes after impact.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 9.3
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 500 km:


What does this mean?

The ejecta will arrive approximately 5.57 minutes after the impact.
At your position there is a fine dusting of ejecta with occasional larger fragments
Average Ejecta Thickness: 10.4 cm ( = 4.08 inches )
Mean Fragment Diameter: 5.17 mm ( = 2.04 tenths of an inch )

Air Blast:

What does this mean?

The air blast will arrive approximately 25.3 minutes after impact.
Peak Overpressure: 118000 Pa = 1.18 bars = 16.8 psi
Max wind velocity: 196 m/s = 439 mph
Sound Intensity: 101 dB (May cause ear pain)
Damage Description:

Tell me more...

Click here for a pdf document that details the observations, assumptions, and equations upon which this program is based. It describes our approach to quantifying the important impact processes that might affect the people, buildings, and landscape in the vicinity of an impact event and discusses the uncertainty in our predictions. The processes included are: atmospheric entry, impact crater formation, fireball expansion and thermal radiation, ejecta deposition, seismic shaking, and the propagation of the atmospheric blast wave.

Earth Impact Effects Program Copyright 2004, Robert Marcus, H.J. Melosh, and G.S. Collins
These results come with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY