The Big CUP

Want to know the processes that shape the planetary surfaces ?

Say YES!!! (Please :P)

There are four major geological processes that can explain the geological surface features but I will only focus on one of them which is IMPACT CRATERING.

Impact creating is the creation of bowl-shaped impact craters mainly caused by leftover planetesimals from the solar system’s formation (asteroids or comets) striking a planet surface.

 impact GIF
The phenomena of the impact cratering

Comets or asteroids typically hit the surface at a hyper-velocity (speed between 10 70 km/s) which releases enough energy to vaporize solid rock and blast out a crater. Crater comes from the Greek word for cup. Next, debris from the blast shoots high above the surface and then rains down over large area.Generally, craters are circular in shape because an impact blasts out material in all directions regardless of the direction of the impactor except for  very low-angle impacts because it will create a significantly elliptical -shaped craters.

Dc = 1.8 ρa 0.11 ρs -1/3 gp -0.22 (2R) 0.13 KE0.22 (sin θ) 1/3

Based on this equation, craters are typically about 10 times as wide as the objects that create them.Dc in this equation stands for the diameter of crater. Generally, a large crater may have a central peak and this peak forms when the center rebounds after impact in much the same way as the GIF below.

 impact GIF
Impact By GIPHY

On the other hand ,Daniel Barringer  was among the first to identify an impact crater which is the Meteor Crater in Arizona. For the crater specialists, this site is called the Barringer Crater in his honor. Below is the list of amazing craters on Earth.

List of craters on Earth


2 thoughts on “The Big CUP

  1. The shock wave that spread due to the impact must be so big. Thank god Earth is not really prone to meteoroid hitting and causing damage to the surface. What do you say about the thousands of dust and sand-sized particle that hit Earth everyday? I know that they are small but what if there are clumps of them that hit Earth together and causes impact so big that they can actually penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere and not burn up?


    1. If you still remember the last homework given by Prof Erika , the likeliness of the large-sized impactor to hit the Earth is very low. This is because they will create a massive impact on Earth surface on large scale. Any object that penetrates through Earth atmosphere will burn up because the object is accelerating to the center of the Earth and it undergoes friction by the air that cause burning.


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