When a meteor falls to Earth, does it break the sound barrie

  • 2 Replies
  • 2758 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
When a meteor falls to Earth, does it break the sound barrier?
Asked by Roy, from Newmarket


                                       

Go to the show page.

                                       

[chapter podcast=2816 track=10.09.12/Naked_Scientists_Show_10.09.12_7119.mp3]  or Listen to the Answer[/chapter] or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 14/09/2010 18:02:15 by _system »

*

Offline thedoc

  • Forum Admin
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 513
    • View Profile
When a meteor falls to Earth, does it break the sound barrie
« Reply #1 on: 14/09/2010 18:02:15 »
Dominic -   Yes, it breaks the sound barrier – actually by a very long way.  These meteors are typically travelling at 10.000-30,000 km/s when they impact the atmosphere [and sound only travels at 330m/s], so they’ll produce a massive shock-wave and you may hear a bang if the meteor is big enough.  
Chris -   A sonic boom?
Dominic -   A sonic boom – yes, exactly!  And in fact, if you have a large meteor, such as the one that hit Tunguska in 1909, it was the shock-wave that caused most of the damage rather than the object itself.  The object would have been only a few tens of metres across, but the shock-wave it produced devastated an area of several square miles in Siberia.
Dave -   I guess the reason why you don’t normally hear [sonic booms] for small shooting stars is they don’t get far enough down so the sound doesn’t reach you standing on the ground.
Dominic -  Yes. And also - they’re very small objects, most shooting stars.  

« Last Edit: 14/09/2010 18:02:15 by _system »

*

Gem

  • Guest
None
« Reply #2 on: 05/05/2014 22:47:16 »
How big does a meteor have to be, to produce an audible sonic boom?

*

Bill

  • Guest
None
« Reply #3 on: 26/10/2016 14:50:15 »
There is no sound in space so you wouldn't hear anything even if they were huge.