(PhysOrg.com) -- Purdue University on Wednesday (Nov. 3) unveiled ''Impact: Earth!'' a new website that allows anyone to calculate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth.
The interactive website is scientifically accurate enough to be used by homeland security and NASA, but user-friendly and visual enough for elementary school students, said Jay Melosh, the distinguished professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and physics at Purdue who led the creation of the impact effects calculator.
''The site is intended for a broad global audience because an impact is an inevitable aspect of life on this planet and literally everyone on Earth should be interested,'' said Melosh, who is an expert in impact cratering. ''There have been big impacts in the past, and we expect big impacts in the future. This site gives the lowdown on what happens when such an impact occurs.''