What Happens if a Meteor Crashes Into the Earth?

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If a meteor crashes into the Earth, what happens next will depend on the size. Find out what happens if a meteor crashes into the Earth with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is what happens if a meteor crashes onto the Earth. It also depends on the size of the meteor that is the first thing that we need to talk about. Let's say if we have Earth over here and we have something let's say half of the size of the Earth, we can expect a good chunk of Earth to be exposed into outer space. In fact, this is actually the theory of how the moon was formed, something half the size of the Earth hit it and a chunk of it came out. So that's something that could happen. Now what happens if this, you know, just 1,000 kilometers across, like a really large meteor goes into the atmosphere. Now a lot of them burn a great deal in the atmosphere, so by the time they actually hit the ground they are a lot smaller and this has to do with the friction caused by the molecules in the atmosphere that are sort of dissolving the rock. Now what could happen? We have had mass extensions happened from meteor impacts. This has pollution in our atmosphere that can be quite deadly. We can have really large impacted landforms on the surface of the Earth and it can actually cause a lot of destructions in the sense of now especially in technology, cell phone lines communications and all of that. My name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and these are things that can occur if a meteor crashes onto Earth.


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