Now, an online calculator to gauge asteroid impact

Scientists claim the calculator can work out what would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth.

Last Updated: Nov 08, 2010, 00:13 AM IST

London: Scientists have devised an online
"impact effects calculator" which they claim can work out what
would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth.

An international team from Purdue University in US and
Imperial College London has created the online `Impact Earth!`
Calculator where users can type in size of their hypothetical
asteroid, its speed, what it will hit, its angle of entry and
even how far they are from the blast.

And, for those who cannot visualize how big their
asteroid should be, there is even a helpful drop-down menu of
pre-set sizes which include "school bus", "humpback whale",
"Empire State Building," the `Daily Mail` reported.

The website`s algorithms then calculate what the
effects of the asteroid`s impact would be on the Earth`s axis,
whether there would be a fireball and what chance of surviving
any bystanders would have.

It can even tell one you how far one should be
from the impact to avoid being buried in the material thrown
up from any crater that is left behind.

Imperial`s Dr Gareth Collins was quoted by the British
newspaper as telling the `BBC`:"One of the major new additions
is the estimates for tsunami wave height at a given distance
away from an ocean impact.

"This had been a popular request, but we didn`t
put it in the original calculator because there simply wasn`t
consensus back then on what the hazard was. There`s since been
some good research and we now have a better understanding of
the issue."

He added: "The site is intended for a broad
global audience because an impact is an inevitable aspect of
life on this planet and literally everyone on Earth should be
interested."

PTI