YouTube channel MetaBallStudios is full of mind-blowing size comparisons that help us understand our place in the world. But the latest blows up the planet by the end. It compares the destruction caused by various size asteroid impact and it’s harrowing to watch. That’s thanks in part to the production value. The video below includes Michael Bay-like camera angles of the asteroid flaming into our atmosphere and pummeling well-known targets like New York City and Paris.
The simulated asteroids start off small, with one that is only three meters tall burning up in the atmosphere. Once it gets up to one kilometer, however, the asteroid impact crater is more than 14 km, and the devastation ripples out. In the photo below, an asteroid that size hits New York City. One the size of Chicxulub, the 20 km asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, is eventually lobbed at Paris.
A projection of the aftermath of a 100 km wide asteroid hitting Rome is especially terrifying. That one spews huge projectiles back into space and burns a huge portion of planet Earth (picture below). Fortunately, asteroids that size are projected only to have a chance of hitting us every four billion years. We certainly wouldn’t want to be around for that asteroid impact.
This video on the MetaBallStudios YouTube channel is the latest to involve asteroids. Previous comparisons covered the size of known asteroids and even a few fictional asteroids. Like those from Deep Impact and Armageddon, of course.
While NASA may not be ready to send oil drillers into space, it did land a probe on an asteroid back in 2018. NASA also launched a rocket to test whether it can knock an asteroid off course, to protect us from possible asteroid impact if need be. Unbeknownst to most people, asteroids pass relatively close to Earth almost every day. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) keeps an eye on asteroids traveling through our Solar System. Anything larger than 460 feet that travels closer than 4.6 million miles to Earth is deemed potentially hazardous.
YouTube channel Veritasium has also covered the likelihood of such asteroid impacts with a video detailing what might happen if asteroids hit the earth… And we should be safe for now. Just in case though, the Global Oreo Vault is keeping the famous cookie’s recipe safe in an asteroid-proof bunker.
Originally published on July 20, 2022.
Melissa is Nerdist’s science & technology staff writer. She also moderates “science of” panels at conventions and co-hosts Star Warsologies, a podcast about science and Star Wars. Follow her on Twitter @melissatruth.