Del Norte High School
HOW SAFE ARE WE?
What happens when a meteor enters the earth's atmosphere; will the meteor burn up or plummet into the earth? As a meteor travels through space there are little or no gas to get in its way. The instant it hits the earth's atmosphere it travels through the gases that surround earth. Will the meteor burn up and incinerate, or will it strike the earth? How big will the impact be if it does hit the earth? We hope to find out this information to help determine if people are in danger of getting hit by a meteorite. In our project we will discuss the path of a meteor as it enters the atmosphere. We will use the three main types of meteors: stones, stony irons, and irons. We will be assuming that all meteors are a spherical shape. We will then ask for a radius, speed, and direction to be entered. Then we will need to calculate the density of each of the layers of the atmosphere and the heating rate from the density. We will also have to take into acount the gravitational pull of the earth on the meteor. The meteor is also constantly getting smaller in size, and the speed is constantly increasing as it is traveling through the atmosphere. We will then determine the size of the meteo and houw big the crater will be if it does hit the earth.