Deep Impact: The Website

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Researchers at Purdue University have updated their popular Impact Earth! online calculating tool. If you've a morbid interest in just how big an asteroid it would take to end civilization (and who doesn't?), click on over and type in size, density, angle of impact data to find out.

First the dinosaurs, then the humans?

I am a proponent of the Strong Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis views the Earth as a single organism that regulates conditions to sustain life on the planet. The Strong Gaia hypothesis accepts this notion, but further hypothesizes that Gaia finally got so pissed off at being whacked by roving asteroids that She evolved big brained primates as an immune system to fend off asteroids using nuclear bombs. Perhaps the Purdue researchers will add nuclear asteroid defense as a feature later.

See my column on planetary defense here.

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54 responses to “Deep Impact: The Website

  1. This is actually one reason why I think we should keep Nasa around. We’ll need orbiting satellites with weapons that can blow the shit out of asteroids at some point.

    If we don’t, the Michael Bays and Roland Emmerichs win.

    1. Rand Simberg at Transterrestrial Musings has said that asteroid defense is a job for a separate Space Guard and not NASA.

    2. They’ve already won, BP. They’ve already won.

      1. The horror… the horror…

  2. If you’ve a morbid interest in just how big an asteroid it would take to end civilization (and who doesn’t?), click on over and type in size, density, angle of impact data to find out.

    Hey, thanks, guys! This’ll save Me a lot of experimentation.

  3. Stick with Zombies

  4. I am a proponent of the Strong Gaia hypothesis.

    I think we coulda prolly have guessed that. AGCC is just Gaia fighting an infection, right? If so, then why are we supposed to stop it?

    If we don’t, the Michael Bays and Roland Emmerichs win.

    OMGWTFBBQ. MORE MONEY FOR NASA! No way those bastards win in my lifetime.

    1. Its one of the really nice features of the Strong Gaia hypothesis. You can argue humans are either the hand of God or a “virus with shoes”. Or maybe the hand of viruses.

      1. Actually, looking through our junk genome you’ll find a ton of viral DNA. So virus with shoes is not a horrible description.

        1. Lousy horizontal-gene-transfer, polluting our pure whi….i mean human genome.

  5. Friggin Gaias can’t leave anything alone.

    1. Gaia Pride!

  6. If only they’d change the simulator so I could also pick target location. It would be really fascinating to find out just what size rock I’d need to swat D.C. off the map.

    1. Just plug in the radius of DC for the distance from impact. Add mass until it says you would be in the crater. Ten miles should be plenty for the distance from impact.

      1. Need to plug this into Google Earth. I want to see the big circle imposed over the image. Ideally with some flames and molten earth added in.

        U guys r lucky I’m not a god. Difficult to stop lobbing rocks.

        1. You can use this simulator to see how big of a bomb you need to wipe DC off the map.

    2. “Damn straight! Today the mad scientist can’t get a doomsday device, tomorrow it’s the mad grad student! Where will it end?!?”

      1. Amen, brother. I don’t go anywhere without my mutated anthrax.
        First, we’re gonna get rid of that three-day mad scientist waiting period.

    3. It would also be nice if you could have an estimate of the number of people killed.

  7. God Hates Gaias!

  8. The Strong Gaia hypothesis accepts this notion, but further hypothesizes that Gaia finally got so pissed off at being whacked by roving asteroids that She evolved big brained primates as an immune system to fend off asteroids using nuclear bombs.

    I’m not a scientist, but I’m pretty sure evolution does not work that way.

    1. I’m pretty sure that’s how religion works though.

  9. http://www.b612foundation.org

    Asteroid impacts are somewhat of a minor obsession of mine. The thing to keep in mind about impacts is that it is not a question of IF we will get a hit again by a half-mile wide impactor, it is a question of WHEN.

    The b612 Foundation wants to seriously advance our ability to detect and mitigate asteroids. They should be getting more attention.

    1. Ohhhhh nnnnooooooooooooooooooo!!!

      When do I get to nail Steven Tyler’s daughter?

      1. Wear a hat, dude.

        1. Worth the risk.

      2. You want to nail an elf princess?

  10. I am a proponent of the Strong Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis views the Earth as a single organism that regulates conditions to sustain life on the planet.

    The Earth is sentient, Ron? I’m gonna have to rethink our relationship.

  11. Shoulda known Ron would be in favor of gaia rights.

  12. I am a proponent of the Strong Gaia hypothesis. The Gaia hypothesis views the Earth as a single organism that regulates conditions to sustain life on the planet.

    That makes my home thermostat a God.

    I believe in the Strong Honeywell VisionPro theory.

    1. I used to work for a Honeywell Chairman & CEO. The way they exploited workers in Mexico was pathetic. Honewell’s response was that people in their workforce who were living in tin shacks with raw sewage flowing through their living rooms were greatful for the economic advantage they had over people who had no tin shacks. The Chairman owned several houses around the world and a 65-foot yacht.

      1. and yet, those Mexican workers chose employment there because it it was better than any other job available to them.

        good thing you’re there to tell them to get a worse job so Honeywell’s CEO can’t buy a boat

      2. and yet, those Mexican workers chose employment there because it it was better than any other job available to them.

        good thing you’re there to tell them to get a worse job so Honeywell’s CEO can’t buy a boat

  13. I wonder what Gaia has in mind for Earth when the Sun enters its red giant phase and boils all the water and atmosphere off the planet.

    1. Sounds pretty much like old people to me. So it’s perfectly normal for an aging planet as well.

    2. I shall repel this oppressive red menace with unicorn farts.

    3. I wonder what Gaia has in mind for Earth when the Sun enters its red giant phase and boils all the water and atmosphere off the planet.

      A proponent of the strong Gaia hypothesis would say that all organisms inevitably die.

  14. Just what I was thinking, Waffles.

    I popped over to Wikipedia b/c I can’t remember much about the Gaia hypothesis(or -thes) and this stopped me short: These extreme forms of the Gaia hypothesis, that the entire Earth is a single unified organism that is consciously manipulating the climate to make conditions more conducive to life…

    So Gaia is God? Do the proponents of this extreme Gaia hypothosis acknowledge this?

    And just how firmly are our tongues supposed to be planted in our cheeks right now?

    1. And just how firmly are our tongues supposed to be planted in our cheeks right now?

      It should look like you’re doing that fake blowjob mime bit.

      1. wylie: 😀

        1. No no no. The ASCII should have looked like this:

          8===D- – –

  15. Those who believe in the Gaia Hypothesis suffer from mind disorder and thus mental illness.

    There is no “Mother Earth”. She is not alive. She doesn’t have one body that regulates her state to sustain other life on the planet.

    Only those indoctrinated, deeply, into the wacky doctrine of environMENTALism accept the false belief of the Gaia Hypothesis.

    1. Earth is a complex adaptive system. Humans are complex adaptive systems. Neither are any more special than the other. It’s all meaningless.

      Free will is merely an illusion that facilitates survival. Emergence, resulting from computationally complex behavior caused by the interaction of a finite set of rules and parameters.

      It’s a pretty damn good illusion though.

  16. Hey, show me Morgan Fairchild in Deep something?

  17. The Strong Gaia Hypothesis fits nicely in with my Strong Solipsist Hypothesis.

    (Why am I posting this to myself, BTW?)

  18. Years ago, I had a nice space-simulating program (mostly written by G. Harry Stine) that had a module like this. It had the advantage of showing different things for different impact sizes. And Harry’s little joke – when you set the impactor size to the smallest levels, the target was the IRS building in D.C. A 1m impactor would pretty much put paid to DC. One of a few hundred meters started taking up more real estate – the fun ones were the largest, where craters were superimposed on Missouri, Texas, or the whole of the US. Too bad I can’t find the CD anymore.

    1. Too bad I can’t find the CD anymore.

      Eh, it prolly won’t run in Win7 anyway.

  19. According to the app, an impact of the moon at the app’s default angle and velocity will produce an earthquake of 14.7 magnitude and change the length of the day by 12.24 hours.

    Even at 6000 km, you’ll be covered by ejecta.

    But there will be no massive damage to the earth.

    1. Yeah, I got some funky results like that too.

    2. While such an impact would have enough energy to remove the crust of the earth and boil away the oceans, it would all come back down eventually. Everything would be a lot less hilly, but the earth would still be there.
      You need to add another zero to the impact energy to really start seeing some damage. 2.9 x 10^31 J will break up the earth into gravel and leave it orbiting the the sun. Add another zero and you can throw whats left of the earth out to infinity.

  20. Huge asteroid will hit Antarctica in 2012… U.S. Must Be Ready to Meet Asteroid Threat, White House Science Adviser Says…Cdn and American astronauts want world to start getting ready for asteroids… NASA: Sun’s Nemesis Pelted Earth with Comets, Study Suggests… Planet X, Nibiru, Eris, Wormwood Is Here! Say Hello! (Video):
    http://cristiannegureanu.blogs…..-here.html

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