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Roman Comet 5,000 Times More Powerful Than A-Bomb
Scotsman ^ | 10/17/04 | John von Radowitz

Posted on 10/17/2004 3:36:42 PM PDT by freedom44

People living in southern Germany during Roman times may have witnessed a comet impact 5,000 times more destructive than the Hiroshima atom bomb, researchers say.

Scientists believe a field of craters around Lake Chiemsee, in south-east Bavaria, was caused by fragments of a huge comet that broke up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Celtic artefacts found at the site, including a number of coins, appear to have been strongly heated on one side.

This discovery, together with evidence from ancient tree rings and Roman reports of “stones falling from the sky”, has led researchers to conclude that the impact happened in about 200BC.

However the claim still needs to be verified by other experts.

The crater field was uncovered after amateur archaeologists working in the area found pieces of metal containing unusual minerals.

A team of geologists led by Kord Ernston, from the University of Wurzburg in Germany, went to the site and discovered evidence of a cataclysm that would have left the region devastated for decades.

Not only would trees and homes have been flattened for many miles by the blast, but the local climate would have changed for years afterwards.

Tree rings show that vegetation growth slowed down in around 207BC, possibly because of the “nuclear winter” effect of dust blotting out the sun.

More than 80 craters were found in an elliptical area 36 miles long and 17 wide, ranging in size from 10 to 1,215 feet across. The largest, filled with water, now formed Lake Tuttensee.

Around the site the team found clues that suggested an impact from space, including rock heated into glass and minerals associated with meteorites.

The most likely cause was a low-density comet, 0.7 miles (1.1 kilometres) wide, that broke up at an altitude of 43 miles and fell in pieces to Earth, the scientists reported in Astronomy Magazine.

They wrote: “The main mass of the projectile struck the ground at 2,200 miles per hour, releasing an amount of energy equivalent to 106 million tons of TNT.”

The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War had an explosive force of just 20,000 tons of TNT.

The scientists gave a graphic description of what it might have been like to experience the impact.

“About two seconds after the strike, people six miles away (10 kilometres) would have felt the ground shake as it would in a magnitude six earthquake. The air blast, arriving 30 seconds after impact, would have swept through at a speed of 500 miles per hour and produced a peak pressure of about 1.4 atmospheres, easily collapsing buildings, especially wooden ones.

“Even from 10 kilometres away, sound from the impact would have reached 103 decibels – loud enough to cause strong ear pain. Up to 90% of the trees would have blown over; the rest would have lost their branches.”

Forest beneath the blast would have ignited suddenly, and continued to burn until the shock wave blew the fire out, said the scientists.

The conflagration had left a thin layer of ash in and between the craters.

Roman authors at the time wrote about showers of stones falling from the sky and terrifying the local population.

Because of these events, the Senate in 205BC ordered that a conical meteorite known as the Needle of Cybele, which had been worshipped in Asia Minor, be brought to Rome.

“The impact undoubtedly had a major effect on the environment and people then living in the vicinity of Altoetting-Chiemgau,” wrote Ernston’s team.

“The region must have been devastated for decades. We are currently looking for gaps in the historical and archaeological records during the time we propose for the impact to better understand both the event itself and its cultural effects.”

Dr Benny Peiser, a leading expert on impact events from Liverpool John Moore’s University, said the report should be treated with caution until more was known.

He said the date was speculative, and pointed out that asteroids or comets a kilometre wide struck the Earth on average only once every 500,000 years. Generally such a large impact would cause much more severe and obviously traceable damage.

“In short, this is an an intriguing find, but I remain sceptical for the time being,” said Dr Peiser. “The impact cratering research community has not assessed these claims yet. That’s what needs to be done next.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; astronomy; bolide; catastrophism; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; impact; mikebaillie; romanempire; stalactites; stalagmites
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1 posted on 10/17/2004 3:36:43 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: freedom44
Dang Romans - I knew Caesar had something up his sleeve. ;)
2 posted on 10/17/2004 3:37:58 PM PDT by meyer (Our greatest opponent is a candidate called Complacency.)
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To: freedom44

Clearly, this was Bush's fault.

And haliburton, too.


3 posted on 10/17/2004 3:38:55 PM PDT by flashbunny
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To: freedom44
Tree rings show that vegetation growth slowed down in around 207BC, possibly because of the “nuclear winter” effect of dust blotting out the sun.

So did this happen after Tunguska, as well?

4 posted on 10/17/2004 3:39:00 PM PDT by atomicpossum (If there are two Americas, John Edwards isn't qualified to lead either of them.)
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To: freedom44

Kerry will find a way to make this Bushs' fault.


5 posted on 10/17/2004 3:39:56 PM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: freedom44

Comet, it makes your teeth turn green
Comet, it tastes like gasoline
so take some Comet and vomit today!


Sorry.


6 posted on 10/17/2004 3:40:06 PM PDT by Mark was here (My tag line was about to be censored.)
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To: blam

PING<<<<<


7 posted on 10/17/2004 3:40:54 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.)
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To: freedom44

This may be of intrest to you. It calculates the effects of impacts of meteorites.

http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/impacteffects/


8 posted on 10/17/2004 3:41:40 PM PDT by cripplecreek (The economy won't matter if you're dead.)
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To: freedom44

That's interesting. Never heard of that. Sounds plausible.


9 posted on 10/17/2004 3:42:03 PM PDT by Ptarmigan (Proud rabbit hater and killer)
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To: blam

Ping.


10 posted on 10/17/2004 3:43:11 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: cripplecreek

Cool link, thanks.


11 posted on 10/17/2004 3:46:14 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: Mrs Mark
Comet, it makes your teeth turn green Comet, it tastes like gasoline so take some Comet and vomit today!

LOL! I haven't heard that since I was a kid!

12 posted on 10/17/2004 3:52:23 PM PDT by FReepaholic (Proud FReeper since 1998. Proud monthly donor.)
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To: MisterRepublican

I wonder if anyone there had a plan.


13 posted on 10/17/2004 3:55:13 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg (I need a new tagline. Or, I should simply let go of the American League playoffs.)
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To: freedom44

If it's not global warming, it's nuclear winter. We're doomed.


14 posted on 10/17/2004 3:56:00 PM PDT by aomagrat (Where weapons are not allowed, it is best to carry weapons.)
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To: freedom44
"may have witnessed"

Conversely, they may not have. :~)

15 posted on 10/17/2004 3:56:12 PM PDT by verity (The Liberal Media is America's Enemy)
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To: atomicpossum
So did this happen after Tunguska, as well?

Well... no.
No trace has been found at Tunguska of any remnants of the object, that I know of. The conclusion is that the object "vaporized" and no traces struck earth.

16 posted on 10/17/2004 3:57:10 PM PDT by Publius6961 (The most abundant things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.)
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To: atomicpossum
Sorry, Tunguska was an air burst, albeit a very spectacular one.

Can you imagine if something similar were to happen today, especially over a populated area?

17 posted on 10/17/2004 4:01:29 PM PDT by Stonewall Jackson (Eagle Scout class of 1992.)
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To: freedom44
Tree rings show that vegetation growth slowed down in around 207BC, possibly because of the “nuclear winter” effect of dust blotting out the sun.

BAN COMETS NOW!!! SAY "NO" TO NUCLEAR WINTER!!

Ok, somebody fill me in on how we can get tree ring data from 207BC.

18 posted on 10/17/2004 4:02:24 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Got Wood?)
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To: atomicpossum

They think the Russian hit was an air burst or glancing blow. The object didn't hit the earth, just the shock wave. Its the impact that throws back up the dust. Because of that there was no large scale blockage of the sun.


19 posted on 10/17/2004 4:08:52 PM PDT by PeteB570
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To: freedom44
Not only would trees and homes have been flattened for many miles by the blast, but the local climate would have changed for years afterwards.

What should this be chalked up to????
Ignorance of journalists???

20 posted on 10/17/2004 4:16:55 PM PDT by HP8753 (Bypass Online News Sites Registration>>>> www.bugmenot.com)
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To: aomagrat

Well, meybe if we can get corresponding amounts of each, we'll be OK!


21 posted on 10/17/2004 4:45:45 PM PDT by Still Thinking
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To: atomicpossum
So did this happen after Tunguska, as well?

No...
Tunguska occurred at the turn of the century, approx. 1900 CE... 100 years ago..
Roman Comet happened approx. 2,200 years ago.. 200-250 BCE..

Even at 2,200 years ago, that would make it one of the most recent major asteroid /comet impacts in history..

22 posted on 10/17/2004 5:12:45 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: freedom44; Mike Darancette; Rebelbase; RightWhale; SunkenCiv; atomicpossum; cripplecreek
Professor Mike Baillie's world wide tree-ring data indicates that there were catastrophic events in 1628BC, 1159BC, 207BC, 44BC,and 540AD...these events were large enough to affect the trees world wide. Baillie has an excellent book, Exodus To Arthur that details these events. He thinks the impact of a comet fragment in 540AD caused the Dark Ages.
23 posted on 10/17/2004 5:15:04 PM PDT by blam
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To: VeniVidiVici
Ok, somebody fill me in on how we can get tree ring data from 207BC.

Just a layman's view.. from my perspective..
Start with existing trees, and their tree ring structure.
Then start digging up old tree stumps, remnants of ancient footings of buildings, piers, docks, etc..
Cross reference same to build up a picture of corresponding tree ring structures... Each set of older rings overlapping with sets of younger rings..
Collate your library to show continuous ring growth patterns going back to earlier and earlier eras..
Index by regions..

Result...
A fairly accurate rendition of growth patterns of trees in a given geographical area, running back thousands of years..
Additional data can be gotten from fossilized wood, giving estimates in certain general age groups, going back millions of years..

Add to this core samples of sediments from local lake beds, and other geological strata, and one can build up a pretty good picture of what sort of weather there was, and even what kind of plants were growing in the area, as well as much of the insect life, bones and teeth of small animals, fish, mollusks, and occasionally, large animals, including man or his ancestors...

More than you ever wanted to know about tree ring dating of archeological / geological sites..

24 posted on 10/17/2004 5:27:33 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: freedom44
Because of these events, the Senate in 205BC ordered that a conical meteorite known as the Needle of Cybele, which had been worshipped in Asia Minor, be brought to Rome.

I strongly doubt it. A team of Romans was sent to Asia Minor to bring back the stone of Cybele in order to protect the City of Rome during the Second Punic War. Hannibal was a much more immediate threat to Rome than meteors in Bavaria.

Cybele is the Magna Mater, portrayed with a crown of a hundred cities and representing the rise and fall of empires. Virgil mentions her briefly twice in the Aeneid, I believe as the divine power behind the thrown who was responsible for the fall of the ancient empire of Troy and the rise of Rome with its supposed Trojan ancestors. Carthage, of course, was Rome's great rival for imperial rule.

The stone of Cybele, probably a meteorite, was said to have protected the City of Troy until it was removed by the Greeks. As long as it remained in the city it was prophesied that the city would stand. So, no wonder if the Romans wanted to move it to Rome.

25 posted on 10/17/2004 5:29:39 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: VeniVidiVici; Drammach; Cicero
Article by Mike Baillie.

Did Asteroids And Comets Change The Tides Of Civilization?

26 posted on 10/17/2004 5:40:06 PM PDT by blam
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To: Drammach
"A fairly accurate rendition of growth patterns of trees in a given geographical area, running back thousands of years.. Additional data can be gotten from fossilized wood, giving estimates in certain general age groups, going back millions of years.. "

Good overview. The tree-ring data presently exceeds 10,000 years into the past. Good repeatable, reliable data.

27 posted on 10/17/2004 5:42:50 PM PDT by blam
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To: freedom44
Evidence Of Tunguska-Type Impacts Over The Pacific Basin In 1178AD
28 posted on 10/17/2004 5:49:55 PM PDT by blam
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To: freedom44
Evidence Of Tunguska-Type Impacts Over The Pacific Basin In 1178AD
29 posted on 10/17/2004 5:52:46 PM PDT by blam
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To: freedom44; blam; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; SunkenCiv; 24Karet; 2Jedismom; ...
Thanks blam and Freedom44. Here's a (literal) blast from the past, probably has a full thread somewhere on FR:
Space impact 'saved Christianity'
by Dr David Whitehouse
Monday, 23 June, 2003
It was just before a decisive battle for control of Rome and the empire that Constantine saw a blazing light cross the sky and attributed his subsequent victory to divine help from a Christian God. Constantine went on to consolidate his grip on power and ordered that persecution of Christians cease and their religion receive official status... Jens Ormo, a Swedish geologist, and colleagues working in Italy believe Constantine witnessed a meteoroid impact. The research team believes it has identified what remains of the impactor's crater. It is the small, circular Cratere del Sirente in central Italy. It is clearly an impact crater, Ormo says, because its shape fits and it is also surrounded by numerous smaller, secondary craters, gouged out by ejected debris, as expected from impact models. Radiocarbon dating puts the crater's formation at about the right time to have been witnessed by Constantine and there are magnetic anomalies detected around the secondary craters - possibly due to magnetic fragments from the meteorite.
This BBC article is still online.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on, off, or alter the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
The GGG Digest
-- Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

30 posted on 10/17/2004 5:53:39 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: Mrs Mark
I found myself hummin' along...
31 posted on 10/17/2004 5:55:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: freedom44

NUCLEAR WINTER, the balance for GLOBAL WARMING


32 posted on 10/17/2004 6:02:21 PM PDT by feedback doctor (Fundamentalist Liberals, Fundamentalist Muslims, the only difference is the clothes)
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To: meyer

Except it happened about 100 years before Caesar was born...


33 posted on 10/17/2004 6:06:21 PM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: freedom44

This was not a comet. It was the Kerry campaign ........


34 posted on 10/17/2004 6:10:56 PM PDT by festus (Whats the frequency Kenneth ?)
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To: blam
1628BC, 1159BC, 207BC, 44BC,and 540AD.

Following the pattern, we're way overdue for a LARGE strike of some kind.

35 posted on 10/17/2004 6:12:29 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Truth, Justice and the Texan Way)
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To: freedom44
106 million tons of TNT

100 kilotons. Big, but not devastating to the region unless it were to land in a city. It would eliminate most any medieval sized city. Was there a city of any size then in Bavaria?

36 posted on 10/17/2004 6:22:01 PM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: blam

Ping


37 posted on 10/17/2004 6:23:07 PM PDT by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: SunkenCiv

Yeah, but I hate doing that to Colonel Bogey's March...


38 posted on 10/17/2004 6:29:21 PM PDT by beezdotcom (I'm usually either right or wrong...)
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To: SunkenCiv
" Here's a (literal) blast from the past, probably has a full thread somewhere on FR: "

Yup. It's been posted a couple times with pictures of the crater, etc.

39 posted on 10/17/2004 6:36:42 PM PDT by blam
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To: RightWhale

100 Megatons actually.


40 posted on 10/17/2004 6:39:15 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Truth, Justice and the Texan Way)
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To: Centurion2000
"Following the pattern, we're way overdue for a LARGE strike of some kind."

It was just last year that one 'zipped' past only 27,000 miles from earth. It was detected as it was speeding away from earth.

41 posted on 10/17/2004 6:40:08 PM PDT by blam
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To: Centurion2000

If it were 100 megatons it would have leveled the forest of Germany all the way to Rome. The fireball alone would be 200 miles across.


42 posted on 10/17/2004 6:41:51 PM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: beezdotcom

;')


43 posted on 10/17/2004 6:53:42 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: RightWhale
I think you are confusing the size with the energy/explosive force.

The most likely cause was a low-density comet, 0.7 miles (1.1 kilometres) wide, that broke up at an altitude of 43 miles and fell in pieces to Earth, the scientists reported in Astronomy Magazine.

They wrote: “The main mass of the projectile struck the ground at 2,200 miles per hour, releasing an amount of energy equivalent to 106 million tons of TNT.”

The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima at the end of the Second World War had an explosive force of just 20,000 tons of TNT.


44 posted on 10/17/2004 7:05:05 PM PDT by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber! (50 million and counting in Afganistan and Iraq))
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To: blam

found this one:

'Asteroid Impact Could Have Prompted Constantine's Conversion'
Ananova ^ | 6-18-2003
Posted on 06/18/2003 4:45:56 PM PDT by blam

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/931431/posts


45 posted on 10/17/2004 7:14:23 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("All I have seen teaches me trust the Creator for all I have not seen." -- Emerson)
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To: RightWhale
If it were 100 megatons it would have leveled the forest of Germany all the way to Rome. The fireball alone would be 200 miles across.

Wrong, the entire cloud created from a 100 megaton explosion would be about 120km across. 200 mile fireball ?? No way, but the thermal pulse might be felt that far.

46 posted on 10/17/2004 7:19:21 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Truth, Justice and the Texan Way)
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To: freedom44

Ping!


47 posted on 10/17/2004 7:20:17 PM PDT by Inyo-Mono (Proud member of P.O.O.P., People Offended by Offended People.)
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To: Centurion2000

It is telling that media hyperbole has hugely influenced our collective tendencies towards ascribing far more destructive power to the "megaton" than can be reasonably calculated. I see evidence of this all the time.


48 posted on 10/17/2004 8:15:26 PM PDT by beezdotcom (I'm usually either right or wrong...)
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To: PeaceBeWithYou

The explosion they describe is in the kiloton range. To get megatons the main body would have to strike the ground in the 60,000 miles per hour range, not 2,000.


49 posted on 10/18/2004 8:27:29 AM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: RightWhale
Several sources suggest you're wrong. Notice in the chart below a 1km diameter meteor is given a 75,000 Megaton kinetic equivalency.


Table 1 -  Risk of direct impact for a given location

Diameter  Kinetic Energy Area Devastated
Average. interval (years)
(m)  Mt  TNT sq km Earth "City" Inhabited Region & 
Expected Death toll
50 
10
1900
100 yr 
30 million yr
900 yr
1 million
100
75
7200 
1000 yr 
70 million yr
8000 yr
3 million
200
600
29 000
5000 yr
90 million yr
30 000 yr
14 million
500
10 000
70 000
40 000 yr
290 million yr
180 000 yr
30 million
1 km
 75 000
200 000
100 000 yr
260 million yr
290 000 yr
60 million
2 km
 1 million MT
-
 1 million yr
-
1 million yr
1.5 billion
All*
   
90 yr
14 million yr
800 yr
An impact by a 2km diameter stony asteroid is thought to be at the threshold of a global catastrophe and the  "damage" would go well beyond the area of direct devastation. It has been estimated that one quarter of the world's population could die from starvation and other indirect effects due to such an impact, which is thought to have an average interval of 1 million years (Morrison and Chapman 1995).



50 posted on 10/18/2004 6:57:14 PM PDT by PeaceBeWithYou (De Oppresso Liber! (50 million and counting in Afganistan and Iraq))
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