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(LA Times)   Cool: New map shows 4300 years of meteor activity. Fark: If this is any indication of future impacts, the USA is pretty much screwed   ( latimes.com) divider line
    More: Cool, meteors, atomic warfare, Chicxulub, impacts, Yucatan Peninsula  
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6953 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Feb 2013 at 10:35 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



41 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-02-21 09:19:21 AM  
That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.
 
2013-02-21 09:37:07 AM  
FTFA: According to the map, the United States' East and West coasts have gotten off lightly through the millenniums. Not so much for the Midwest and South, however, which seem to be relatively frequent targets for the cosmos' rocky debris.

Explains why all those Republicans have rocks in their heads...

/hey-oh
 
2013-02-21 09:49:59 AM  
The map is cool.
However, the author is apparently an idiot, as he doesn't seem to realize why he had trouble finding a 65Ma old impact on a map going back to 2300BC. Cue creationist jokes....
 
2013-02-21 09:52:56 AM  
grumble grumble grumble dynamic farking symbol sizes ruin a map grumble grumble grumble
 
2013-02-21 10:14:35 AM  
Why is it only showing hits on land?  I'd assume most of them land in the oceans.
 
2013-02-21 10:24:16 AM  

downstairs: Why is it only showing hits on land?  I'd assume most of them land in the oceans.


Think about it. I know you can do it.
i.imgur.com
 
2013-02-21 10:44:45 AM  

Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.


The other parameter you should include is "Places scientists are relatively free to fly over/around/above looking for evidece of impacts without fear of being shot down or arrested as a spy."
 
2013-02-21 10:45:22 AM  
Show me on Pangaea where the meteor touched you.
 
2013-02-21 10:46:51 AM  
I see that Charlie Freak and Abb3w have covered both my points. I shall move on now.
 
2013-02-21 10:58:38 AM  
"The Gods Hate Kansas" (1964) was right.
 
2013-02-21 10:59:23 AM  
An interactive map that's going viral shows the location, size, and chemical makeup of every asteroid and meteor that has slammed into the Earth since 2,300 BC

It's a miracle that none of them landed in the ocean.
 
2013-02-21 11:12:11 AM  
www.kubins.com

Asteroids do not concern me....
 
2013-02-21 11:28:37 AM  

abb3w: The map is cool.
However, the author is apparently an idiot, as he doesn't seem to realize why he had trouble finding a 65Ma old impact on a map going back to 2300BC. Cue creationist jokes....


There are about a half-dozen ways that article is 'tarded. But yeah, that's probably the worst of the bunch.
 
2013-02-21 11:43:57 AM  
"Unfortunately, not all impacts are accurately portrayed to scale. Finding the Chicxulub asteroid (some think it may have been a comet) took some searching. It's a tiny dot on top of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, just above Merida. The dot is apparently so small because there's no data on just how big Chicxulub was when it hit.  "

Or, perhaps, 2300 BC was less than 65 million years ago.
 
2013-02-21 11:52:54 AM  
Why didn't they map the near misses?
 
2013-02-21 12:04:13 PM  
Pretty cool how they never land in the oceans.

/Map fail.
 
2013-02-21 12:09:36 PM  

Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.


Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.
 
2013-02-21 12:13:34 PM  

HotIgneous Intruder: Pretty cool how they never land in the oceans.

/Map fail.


Maps generally fail when people are too retarded to understand their limitations.
 
2013-02-21 12:20:02 PM  
Just like earthquake maps, Canada and Russia appear to have some type of supernatural protection.
 
2013-02-21 12:31:07 PM  

Elegy: HotIgneous Intruder: Pretty cool how they never land in the oceans.

/Map fail.

Maps generally fail when people are too retarded to understand their limitations.


... or too autistic to have a functional sarcasm meter.
 
2013-02-21 12:35:07 PM  
It's no wonder they're clearing the rainforests. Meteor-proof housing and industry.
 
2013-02-21 12:37:17 PM  

you have pee hands: "Unfortunately, not all impacts are accurately portrayed to scale. Finding the Chicxulub asteroid (some think it may have been a comet) took some searching. It's a tiny dot on top of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, just above Merida. The dot is apparently so small because there's no data on just how big Chicxulub was when it hit.  "

Or, perhaps, 2300 BC was less than 65 million years ago.


I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that.
 
2013-02-21 01:07:24 PM  

fatbear: Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.

Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.



As always, there's a relevant xkcd:

imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-02-21 01:18:50 PM  

hp6sa: fatbear: Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.

Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.


As always, there's a relevant xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 500x542]


Came to post this, leaving satisfied.  We're all done here, folks.
 
Bf+
2013-02-21 01:39:29 PM  

CommX: [www.kubins.com image 648x344]

Asteroids do not concern me....


OK, that was just awesome.  Well done.
 
2013-02-21 01:40:23 PM  

HMS_Blinkin: hp6sa: fatbear: Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.

Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.


As always, there's a relevant xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 500x542]

Came to post this, leaving satisfied.  We're all done here, folks.


Same.  No marks in the mountains, oceans, or rain forests, because (a) no one there to record them and (b) no trace left behind to find it.

Only real failure on the map is Antarctica being blank, as there are tons of space-junk collected there from recent impacts.  Had buddy who spent a season down there collecting meteorites with NASA.  Easiest place to find them (any dark spot on the snow is something to look at)
 
2013-02-21 01:41:22 PM  

hp6sa: fatbear: Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.

Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.


As always, there's a relevant xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 500x542]


What annoys me about that cartoon, though it makes a good point, is that there are some serious differences - why do so many people in San Antonio like furry porn but not use that website?
 
2013-02-21 01:48:34 PM  
This is just a map of where meteorites were found and identified. In fact, it is missing the MASSIVE find of meteorites in Antarctica. The glaciers pretty much catch them and dump them where the glacier ends. Pretty cool.
 
2013-02-21 01:55:01 PM  

SuperT: I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed that.


I saw after posting that someone beat me to it but in my defense it was so dumb I think it broke my brain a little.
 
2013-02-21 02:07:40 PM  
If one can hit Kittakittaooloo, nowhere is safe.
 
2013-02-21 02:26:04 PM  

PhDemented: Only real failure on the map is Antarctica being blank, as there are tons of space-junk collected there from recent impacts. Had buddy who spent a season down there collecting meteorites with NASA. Easiest place to find them (any dark spot on the snow is something to look at)


I recently got back from a meteorite search expedition organized by the University of Bern and the Natural History of Museum in Bern (both in Switzerland, where I'm in grad school) that took place in the desert of Oman. While this is my first time with this group, they've been doing this for ~20 years and are the reason there's so many meteorites found in Oman on TFA's map.

Roughly speaking, meteorites fall relatively uniformly over the planet (though certain big ones may leave a disproportionate amount of debris that skew the numbers a bit). Still, meteorites are easier to find in areas that are relatively flat and light colored (so the dark meteorites stand out). It should come as no surprise that Australia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Northwest Africa have a lot of finds (indeed, there's an entire category called "Northwest Africa" or "NWA" for meteorites found in that region, mostly by locals, caravans, etc. who then sell it to dealers who sell it to collectors/researchers). Dense forest, high mountains, and remote locations are difficult to explore so places like northern Canada, Siberia, Greenland, the interior of South America, central Africa, the Himalayas, etc. have little finds. Iceland is volcanic and rocky and such rocks are extremely difficult to distinguish from meteorites at a glance, so it's not surprising that nothing has been found there.

Antarctica, as you pointed out, has a large number of readily accessible meteorites -- due to the movement of ice sheets over long periods of time, certain areas (such as those where an ice sheet is stopped by a mountain or other landmass) are enriched in meteorites on the surface. Unfortunately, the ice moves them from where they originally fell so that is a bit frustrating for researchers. (It's similar with the NWA meteorites -- there's essentially no way to contact the finder and, even if one could, they wouldn't have marked the coordinates of where it was found.) The reason the Swiss search in Oman is because the desert is flat, there's minimal precipitation and freezing weather to erode the meteorites, and there's vast swaths of areas which have remained unchanged for tens of thousands of years so the meteorites are left where they fell. That, and a bunch of the Omani researchers did their PhDs in Bern and have a good working relationship with the Swiss. :)

There's an active community of amateur meteorite hunters in the US and they're able to find a number of meteorites even in unfavorable environments.

In short, the map mostly reflects where people actually search for meteorites, not concentrations of where meteorites actually fall.

/does noble gas mass spectrometry on meteorites
//surprisingly interesting for such a niche subject
 
2013-02-21 02:33:28 PM  

YixilTesiphon: hp6sa: fatbear: Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.

Done in 1.

/it's a map of population centers.
//anyone who says the east & west coasts of the US haven't been hit doesn't know how to read a farking map.


As always, there's a relevant xkcd:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 500x542]

What annoys me about that cartoon, though it makes a good point, is that there are some serious differences - why do so many people in San Antonio like furry porn but not use that website?


Houstonites wouldn't be caught dead reading that hippie mumbo-jumbo.

/got nothin'
 
2013-02-21 03:03:56 PM  

Charlie Freak: That map reads an awful lot like "here are where we know meteorites impacted because there were people around to witness or discover them later." Siberia, the Gobi, Canada? Not so much.


Yup.  The first thing that occured to me too.  Canada should be similar to the US in terms of impact distribution....
 
2013-02-21 03:20:25 PM  
I'm moving up to Canada. Looks safer.
 
2013-02-21 03:34:09 PM  
Everytime i look at a map, the US is right there front and center so no wonder we get most of the hits!
 
2013-02-21 03:52:46 PM  
They hate these cans!
Stay away from the cans!!
 
2013-02-21 05:28:09 PM  
mostly Texas and New Mexico so, who cares?
 
2013-02-21 10:10:24 PM  
It has the "williamette meteorite" listed as a big impact in Oregon..  They just found it in Oregon, it hit somewhere in Canada well before the last ice age at least.
 
2013-02-22 12:43:46 AM  

downstairs: Why is it only showing hits on land?  I'd assume most of them land in the oceans.


That's because the map symbols of the ocean impacts  are under water! Duh.
 
2013-02-22 06:20:30 PM  

heypete: I recently got back from a meteorite search expedition organized by the University of Bern and the Natural History of Museum in Bern (both in Switzerland, where I'm in grad school) that took place in the desert of Oman. While this is my first time with this group, they've been doing this for ~20 years and are the reason there's so many meteorites found in Oman on TFA's map.


CSB

/Really
 
2013-02-22 11:40:53 PM  

downstairs: Why is it only showing hits on land?  I'd assume most of them land in the oceans.


Was going to point out the obvious too. So the vast majority just "happen" to hit land? Shenanigans.
 
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