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: 2000.00 km ( = 1240.00 miles )
Projectile diameter: 1000.00 km ( = 621.00 miles )
Projectile Density: 3000 kg/m3
Impact Velocity: 45.00 km per second ( = 27.90 miles per second )
Impact Angle: 45 degrees
Target Density: 2500 kg/m3
Target Type: Sedimentary Rock


Energy before atmospheric entry: 1.59 x 1030 Joules = 3.80 x 1014 MegaTons TNT
The average interval between impacts of this size is longer than the Earth's age.
Such impacts could only occur during the accumulation of the Earth, between 4.5 and 4 billion years ago.

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).
Depending on the direction and location of impact, the collision may cause a change in the length of the day of up to 1.08 hours.
The impact does not shift the Earth's orbit noticeably.

Crater Dimensions:

What does this mean?

Transient Crater Diameter: 3550 km ( = 2210 miles )
Transient Crater Depth: 1260 km ( = 780 miles )

Final Crater Diameter: 10300 km ( = 6420 miles )
Final Crater Depth: 4.78 km ( = 2.97 miles )
The final crater is replaced by a large, circular melt province.
The volume of the target melted or vaporized is 1e+10 km3 = 2.4e+09 miles3
Melt volume = 1.71 times the crater volume
At this size, the crater forms in its own melt pool.

Thermal Radiation:

What does this mean?

Time for maximum radiation: 8.65 minutes after impact

Your position is inside the fireball.
The fireball appears 2620 times larger than the sun
Thermal Exposure: 1.87 x 1014 Joules/m2
Duration of Irradiation: 84.3 hours
Radiant flux (relative to the sun): 615000

Effects of Thermal Radiation:

Seismic Effects:

What does this mean?

The major seismic shaking will arrive approximately 6.67 minutes after impact.
Richter Scale Magnitude: 14.4 (This is greater than any earthquake in recorded history)
Mercalli Scale Intensity at a distance of 2000 km:


What does this mean?

Your position is in the region which collapses into the final crater.

Air Blast:

What does this mean?

The air blast will arrive approximately 1.68 hours after impact.
Peak Overpressure: 2.51e+09 Pa = 25100 bars = 356000 psi
Max wind velocity: 40300 m/s = 90200 mph
Sound Intensity: 188 dB (Dangerously Loud)
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.

Recent improvements in the airblast calculation are described here.

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