Comet and Asteroid Impact Hazards explores the anticipated consequences of comet and asteroid impact. It presents the first computer simulations of the hazards of comet and asteroid bombardment of a populated Earth. Previous estimates of fatality and damage rates on the 100 to 10,000 year time scale are shown to be too low because they neglect rare, highly lethal outriders of the populations of bombarding objects, those with exceptional strength, unusually low entry velocity, and near-horizontal entry angles. This is the first realistic assessment of both the mean casualty rate and the expected statistical fluctuations in that rate. A breakdown of fatality and damage rates by impactor energy and compositional class suggests lessons for both asteroid search strategies and interdiction techniques. This book is written so that anyone with college level experience in the physical sciences can understand it. It includes a disk that allows the reader to simulate impact catastrophes. It serves as a useful resource in various physical sciences courses such as astronomy, planetary science, and environmental science.
- Quantatively rigorous treatment of the state of impact hazard prediction, including stuctural blast damage, firestorm ignition, tsunami generation
- Realistic treatment of the impact on population, composition, and orbits
- Attention to economic and public policy issues of warning, interdiction, and asteroid and comet search strategies
- Comparison of simulation results to historical records
- Detailed and realistic Monte Carlo simulation software included
Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers, as well as the general public interested in astronomy and star-gazing.
Preface.Introduction. The Impact Flux. The Impactor. The Impact Process. The Target. Method of Calculation. Results. Implications for Hazard Assessment and Abatement. Areas Requiring Further Study. Conclusions. References. Appendix A: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Owner's Manual. Appendix B: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Program Listing. Appendix C: Program HAZARDS Version 5.5 Sample Output. References. Index.
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- © Academic Press 2000
- 18th October 1999
- Academic Press
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John S. Lewis is Professor of Planetary Sciences and Co-Director of the Space Engineering Research Center of the University of Arizona, has concentrated in recent years on the material and energy resources of nearby space and on the hazards and opportunities presented to mankind by the Near-Earth Asteroids. He is a former Professor of Planetary Sciences and Chemistry at MIT and a Visiting Professor at Cal Tech. He has served as Chairman of a number of international conferences on space science and space development. His contributions to planetary science include the first prediction of coloring matter in the atmosphere of Jupiter. He is also the author of several popular science books, including Rain of Iron and Ice, a popular account of the impact hazard, and Mining the Sky, a survey of resource opportunities in space and their relevance to economic, resource, and environmental issues on Earth. He is also the editor of a 1000-page technical volume, Resources of Near-Earth Space. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of American Rocket Company, and is presently an advisor to the Space Development Corporation's Near-Earth Asteroid Prospector (NEAP) mission.
University of Arizona, Tucson, U.S.A.
"...perhaps the most thorough study available on this subject...the writing is clear, engaging, and even humorous in places...recommended for upper-division undergraduates as well as public libraries." --CHOICE