When the Solar System was very young, about 4 billion years ago, planets were subject to heavy bombardment by asteroids and comets. Scars of these bombardments are the impact craters of different sizes that we can see today on the surface of most rocky planets of our Solar System, including Earth. It is thought that the heavy bombardment of Earth by comets may have contributed to bringing water to our planet – a theory that Rosetta is meant to verify. It is also thought that the collision of a big asteroid with Earth may have wiped away dinosaurs and led to their extinction.
|Format:||On-line calculator and student activities|
|Description:||This practical activity introduces students to the physics and maths behind the destructive power of an asteroid impact.|
|Age range:||14 – 18 years old (secondary, middle and upper)|
Access the impact calculator.
Pdf:Student worksheet 1 – Impact craters
Pdf:Student worksheet 2 – Deflecting an impactor
Pdf:Student worksheet 3 – The impact that wiped out the dinosaurs
Pdf:Student worksheet 4 – An asteroid in geostationary orbit
Pdf:Student worksheet 5 – The Vredefort crater
Pdf:Student worksheet 6 – Asteroid impacts and crater sizes
Pdf:Student worksheet 7 – The Russian meteorite
Pdf:Student worksheet 8 – Impacting Earth