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Title: Airblast damage from small asteroids

Abstract

The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its cross sections from aerodynamic braking and energy dissipation. At a typical impact velocity of 22km/s, the atmosphere absorbs more than half the kinetic energy of stony meteoroids with diameters, D{sub M} < 250 meters and iron meteoroids with D{sub M} < 60 meters. Most of this energy dissipation occurs in a fraction of a scale height, which causes large meteoroids to appear to ``explode`` or ``flare`` at the end of their visible paths. The dissipation of energy in the atmosphere reduces the damage due to direct impacts (e.g., craters and tsunamis), but it produces a blast wave than can cause considerable damage to structures on the ground. The area of destruction around the impact point in which the over pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 pounds/inch{sup 2}=2.8{times}10{sup 5}dynes/cm{sup 3}, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings, increases rapidly from zero for chondritic asteroids less than 50 meters in diameter (9 megatons) to about 2000 square km for those 80 meters in diameter (40 megatons), the approximate diameter of the Tunguska impactor of 1908. The area of destruction produced by the blast wave from themore » impact of stony asteroids between 70 meters and 200 meters in diameter is up to twice as great as it would be without fragmentation.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
10165467
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-92-2049; CONF-920191-2
ON: DE92017834
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: ECA intercept conference,Los Alamos, NM (United States),14-16 Jan 1992; Other Information: PBD: 22 Jun 1992
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ASTEROIDS; DAMAGE; FRAGMENTATION; EARTH ATMOSPHERE; KINETIC ENERGY; 661300; OTHER ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Hills, J G, and Goda, M P. Airblast damage from small asteroids. United States: N. p., 1992. Web.
Hills, J G, & Goda, M P. Airblast damage from small asteroids. United States.
Hills, J G, and Goda, M P. Mon . "Airblast damage from small asteroids". United States.
@article{osti_10165467,
title = {Airblast damage from small asteroids},
author = {Hills, J G and Goda, M P},
abstractNote = {The fragmentation of a small asteroid in the atmosphere greatly increases its cross sections from aerodynamic braking and energy dissipation. At a typical impact velocity of 22km/s, the atmosphere absorbs more than half the kinetic energy of stony meteoroids with diameters, D{sub M} < 250 meters and iron meteoroids with D{sub M} < 60 meters. Most of this energy dissipation occurs in a fraction of a scale height, which causes large meteoroids to appear to ``explode`` or ``flare`` at the end of their visible paths. The dissipation of energy in the atmosphere reduces the damage due to direct impacts (e.g., craters and tsunamis), but it produces a blast wave than can cause considerable damage to structures on the ground. The area of destruction around the impact point in which the over pressure in the blast wave exceeds 4 pounds/inch{sup 2}=2.8{times}10{sup 5}dynes/cm{sup 3}, which is enough to knock over trees and destroy buildings, increases rapidly from zero for chondritic asteroids less than 50 meters in diameter (9 megatons) to about 2000 square km for those 80 meters in diameter (40 megatons), the approximate diameter of the Tunguska impactor of 1908. The area of destruction produced by the blast wave from the impact of stony asteroids between 70 meters and 200 meters in diameter is up to twice as great as it would be without fragmentation.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1992},
month = {6}
}

Conference:
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