You might think that an asteroid impact on Earth would cause less damage if it hit a body of water instead of a landmass. That would not be the case, as scientists present the grave consequences of an asteroid impact in the Pacific ocean. Such an impact would wipe out all human settlements on the west coast of the US, along with the whole population.
Panic in 2004
Such a worry was caused by a 370-meter wide asteroid designated Apophis 99942. This was back in late 2004 and it was calculated that the asteroid had a 3 percent chance to hit the Earth in 2029.
Astronomers then observed that the deadly asteroid would suffer a gravitational shift that would steer it away from this planet but it could pass by again in 2036. Now, the 2036 mark has been ruled out as impossible as the chance to collide to Earth has shifted to 2068 with a 1 in 150.000 chance.
What if the asteroid impacts?
Scientists say that exact asteroid movement are difficult to measure due to the volatility of space. But in the case the asteroid’s trajectory is somehow modified by gravity altering phenomena in space, then the following will likely happen.
It has been calculated that the asteroid will likely impact the Pacific ocean, about 500 miles west of Santa Monica. The rock will plunge into the ocean and will reach a depth of 3 miles, at which point it will explode.
The displacement of water from the body of the asteroid and its powerful explosion will cause the body of water to travel away from the center of the impact. This will cause a 50-foot high tsunami.
The main wave will be followed by secondary ones that are caused by ripples from the ocean trying to violently refill the asteroid sized hole in the impact area. The main wave will take many artificial structures with it when it retreats to the ocean, giving way to the second wave.
At this point, the surface will be bombarded by the second wave, along with the houses and cars that have been tucked away in the first place. But astronomers are confident that Apophis does not have a good chance to impact. I’m sure there will be other asteroids.