60 research outputs found

    Impact ejecta on the moon

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    The partitioning of energy and the distribution of the resultant ejecta on the moon is numerically modeled using a Eulerian finite difference grid. The impact of an iron meteoroid at 15 km/sec on a gabbroic anorthosite lunar crust is examined. The high speed impact induced flow is described over the entire hydrodynamic regime from a time where the peak pressures are 6 Mbar until the stresses everywhere in the flow are linearly elastic, and less than 5 kbar. Shock-induced polymorphic phase changes, (plagioclase and pyroxene to hollandite and perovskite), and the subsequent reversion to low pressure phases are demonstrated to enhance shock wave attenuation. A rate-dependent equation of state is used for describing the hysteretic effect of the phase change. Ballistic equations for a spherical planet are then applied to material with net velocity away from the moon

    Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

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    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals

    Shock vaporization and the accretion of the icy satellites of Jupiter and Saturn

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    The role of impact vaporization acting during the formation of the Jovian and Saturnian satellites is examined in an attempt to explain the observed density in terms of composition of these rock and ice objects. A hypothesis is examined which states that the smaller satellites of Saturn having mean densities in the 1.1 to 1.4 Mg/cu m range represent primordial accreted planetesimal condensates formed in the proto-Jovian and Saturnian accretionary planetary discs. These densities are in the range expected for water-ice/silicate mixtures constrained in the solar values of O/Si and O/Mg atomic ratios. It is demonstrated that if the large satellites accreted from the same group of planetesimals which formed the small Saturnian satellites impact vaporization of water upon accretion in a porous regolith, at low H2O partial pressure, can account for the increase in mean planetesimal density from 1.6 Mg/cu m (43% H2O + 57% silicate) to a mean planetary density of 1.9 Mg/cu m for Ganymedean-sized water silicate objects. If impact volatilization of initially porous planetesimals is assumed, it can be demonstrated starting with planetesimals composed of 54% H2O and 40% silicate partial devolatilization upon accretion will yield a Ganymede-sized planet, having a radius of 2600 km and a density of 1.85 kg/cu m, similar to that of Ganymede, Callisto, and Titan

    Impact and explosion crater ejecta, fragment size, and velocity

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    A model was developed for the mass distribution of fragments that are ejected at a given velocity for impact and explosion craters. The model is semi-empirical in nature and is derived from (1) numerical calculations of cratering and the resultant mass versus ejection velocity, (2) observed ejecta blanket particle size distributions, (3) an empirical relationship between maximum ejecta fragment size and crater diameter and an assumption on the functional form for the distribution of fragements ejected at a given velocity. This model implies that for planetary impacts into competent rock, the distribution of fragments ejected at a given velocity are nearly monodisperse, e.g., 20% of the mass of the ejecta at a given velocity contain fragments having a mass less than 0.1 times a mass of the largest fragment moving at that velocity. Using this model, the largest fragment that can be ejected from asteroids, the moon, Mars, and Earth is calculated as a function of crater diameter. In addition, the internal energy of ejecta versus ejecta velocity is found. The internal energy of fragments having velocities exceeding the escape velocity of the moon will exceed the energy required for incipient melting for solid silicates and thus, constrains the maximum ejected solid fragment size

    Oblique impact: A process for providing meteorite samples of other planets

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    Cratering flow calculations for a series of oblique to normal impacts of silicate projectiles onto a silicate halfspace were carried out to determine whether the gas produced upon shock vaporizing both projectile and planetary material could entrain and accelerate surface rocks and thus provide a mechanism for propelling SNC meteorites from the Martian surface. The difficult constraints that the impact origin hypothesis for SNC meteorites has to satisfy are that these meteorites are lightly to moderately shocked and yet were accelerated to speeds in excess of the Martian escape velocity. Two dimensional finite difference calculations demonstrate that at highly probable impact velocities, vapor plume jets are produced at oblique impact angles of 25 deg to 60 deg and have speeds as great as 20 km/sec. These plumes flow nearly parallel to the planetary surface. It is shown that upon impact of projectiles having radii of 0.1 to 1 km, the resulting vapor jets have densities of 0.1 to 1 g/cu.cm. These jets can entrain Martian surface rocks and accelerate them to velocities 5 km/sec. It is suggested that this mechanism launches SNC meteorites to Earth

    The size distributions of fragments ejected at a given velocity from impact craters

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    The mass distribution of fragments that are ejected at a given velocity for impact craters is modeled to allow extrapolation of laboratory, field, and numerical results to large scale planetary events. The model is semi-empirical in nature and is derived from: (1) numerical calculations of cratering and the resultant mass versus ejection velocity, (2) observed ejecta blanket particle size distributions, (3) an empirical relationship between maximum ejecta fragment size and crater diameter, (4) measurements and theory of maximum ejecta size versus ejecta velocity, and (5) an assumption on the functional form for the distribution of fragments ejected at a given velocity. This model implies that or planetary impacts into competent rock, the distribution of fragments ejected at a given velocity is broad, e.g., 68% of the mass of the ejecta at a given velocity contains fragments having a mass less than 0.1 times a mass of the largest fragment moving at that velocity. The broad distribution suggests that in impact processes, additional comminution of ejecta occurs after the upward initial shock has passed in the process of the ejecta velocity vector rotating from an initially downward orientation. This additional comminution produces the broader size distribution in impact ejecta as compared to that obtained in simple brittle failure experiments

    Melting and its relationship to impact crater morphology

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    Shock-melting features occur on planets at scales that range from micrometers to megameters. It is the objective of this study to determine the extent of thickness, volume geometry of the melt, and relationship with crater morphology. The variation in impact crater morphology on planets is influenced by a broad range of parameters: e.g., planetary density, thermal state, strength, impact velocity, gravitational acceleration. We modeled the normal impact of spherical projectiles on a semi-infinite planet over a broad range of conditions using numerical techniques

    Environmental effects of large impacts on the earth; relation to extinction mechanisms

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    Since Alvarez et al., discovered a worldwide approx. cm-thick layer of fine sediments laden with platinum group elements in approximately chondritic proportions exactly at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (C-T) boundary, and proposed bolide-impact as triggering mass extinctions, many have studied this hypothesis and the layer itself with its associated spherules and shocked quartz. At issue is whether the mass extinctions, and this horizon has an impact versus volcanic origin. A critical feature of the Alvarez hypothesis is the suggestion that the bolide or possibly a shower of objects delivered to the earth approx. 0.6 x 10 to the 18th power g of material which resulted in aerosol-sized ejecta such that global insolation was drastically reduced for significant periods. Such an event would lower temperatures on continents and halt photosynthesis in the upper 200 m of th eocean. The latter would strangle the marine food chain and thus produce the major marine faunal extinctions which mark the C-T boundary. Crucial issues examined include: What are the dynamics of atmospheric flow occurring upon impact of a large bolide with the earth; What is the size distributions of the very fine impact ejecta and how do these compare to the models of ejecta which are used to model the earth's radiative thermal balance. The flow field due to passage of a 10 km diameter bolide through an exponential atmosphere and the interaction of the gas flow and bolide with the solid ear was calculated. The CO2 released upon impact onto shallow marine carbonate sections was modeled and found that the mass of CO2 released exceeds the present 10 to the 18th power g CO2 budget of the earth's atmosphere by several times. Using the calculations of Kasting and Toon it was found that to compute the temperature rise of the earth's surface as a function of CO2 content, it was found that sudden and prolonged global increases are induced from impact of 20 to 50 km radius projectiles and propose that sudden terrestrial greenhouse-induced heating, not cooling, produced the highly variable extinctions seen at the C-T boundary

    Design integration and noise studies for jet STOL aircraft. Task 7C: Augmentor wing cruise blowing valveless system. Volume 1: Static testing of augmentor noise and performance

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    Static performance and acoustic tests were conducted on a two-dimensional one-third-scale augmentor flap model that simulated a cruise blowing augmentor system designed for a scale augmentor flap model that simulated a cruise blowing augmentor, which offers a degree of 150-passenger STOL airplane. The cruise blowing augmentor, which offers a degree of simplicity by requiring no fan air diverter valves, was simulated by fitting existing lobe suppressor nozzles with new nozzle fairings. Flow turning performance of the cruise blowing augmentor was measured through a large range of flap deflection angles. The noise suppression characteristics of a multilayer acoustic lining installed in the augmentor were also measured

    Impact cratering calculations

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    In the course of carrying out finite difference calculations, it was discovered that for large craters, a previously unrecognized type of crater (diameter) growth occurred which was called lip wave propagation. This type of growth is illustrated for an impact of a 1000 km (2a) silicate bolide at 12 km/sec (U) onto a silicate half-space at earth gravity (1 g). The von Misses crustal strength is 2.4 kbar. The motion at the crater lip associated with this wave type phenomena is up, outward, and then down, similar to the particle motion of a surface wave. It is shown that the crater diameter has grown d/a of approximately 25 to d/a of approximately 4 via lip propagation from Ut/a = 5.56 to 17.0 during the time when rebound occurs. A new code is being used to study partitioning of energy and momentum and cratering efficiency with self gravity for finite-sized objects rather than the previously discussed planetary half-space problems. These are important and fundamental subjects which can be addressed with smoothed particle hydrodynamic (SPH) codes. The SPH method was used to model various problems in astrophysics and planetary physics. The initial work demonstrates that the energy budget for normal and oblique impacts are distinctly different than earlier calculations for silicate projectile impact on a silicate half space. Motivated by the first striking radar images of Venus obtained by Magellan, the effect of the atmosphere on impact cratering was studied. In order the further quantify the processes of meteor break-up and trajectory scattering upon break-up, the reentry physics of meteors striking Venus' atmosphere versus that of the Earth were studied
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