Mapping Meteor Strikes; There’s A Lot More Than You’d Think

Last week’s 10,00 ton and 55 feet’s worth of meteor that exploded over and hit the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in the Urals made several thoughts go through my mind. In this order.

  1. I feel for the 1200 people who were hurt and injured
  2. Thank goodness it didn’t happen where I live
  3. With all the asteroids and smaller pieces of rock zooming over our head, this has got to have happened before, hasn’t it?

On the subject of the last thought, it turns out this has happened before. A few times. Actually close to 35,000 times. The Meteoritical Society has a data set detailing these. It would make a great map. Which is exactly what Javier de la Torre, co-founder of CartoDB has done.

Meteor Map - Global

A map of impact points would be effective enough, but Javier’s use of a heatmap not only shows the global spread of the debris which has been raining down on our planet since 2,300 BC but also shows the density of strikes, which makes the map simultaneously more effective and accessible.

Meteor Map - UK

There’s also been far more strikes in the United Kingdom than I would have either thought or feel vaguely comfortable about, if you can ever be comfortable with things falling from the sky with horrifying effect.

Definitely a map to file under the I wish I’d done that category.

Written and posted from home (51.427051, -0.333344)

Written by Gary

Husband, Father, geotechnologist, map geek, coffee addict, Sci-fi fan, UNIX and Mac user.

2 Comments

Spaghetti Hoop

Great map.
Many thousand more must lie undiscovered on the ocean floors – so that has to be considered if analyzing the density patterns.

Gary

That’s true indeed; the sea is conspicuously free of strikes. Makes me wonder how and if one would try to track down strikes on the sea bed.

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