Why don’t meteorites fall into densely populated cities?There really are “mysterious” forces protecting humanity
In 2013, a meteorite 16 meters across and weighing about 10 tons struck earth with a trail of sparks and lightning.After entering the Russian sky, the meteorite was suddenly subjected to a “mysterious” force and burst apart 24km above the ground.As the meteorite landed, a bright flash of light with a loud explosion streaked across the sky, leaving an extremely long “white tail” in the sky.Some on-board recorders, surveillance cameras, etc. recorded the incident.Fortunately, the meteorite disintegrated in mid-air, causing only minor injuries to more than 1,200 people.If a whole meteorite hits the ground, the consequences are unimaginable.Meteorites have also visited Korea, not just Russia.In 2019, a meteorite with a diameter of about 6 meters fell into a mountainous area in Jilin Province.In 2020, a meteorite weighing about 9 tons crashed into the Gobi desert in Qinghai Province.In fact, meteorites visit the earth is not a rare thing.Over the past half century, an average of 721 meteorites have fallen to Earth each year, according to NASA.However, we find that most meteorites fall in uninhabited areas, and very few fall in cities.Why is that?Do aliens really protect us?Just in case you get the wrong idea, the human race on Earth is protected by a “mysterious” force, but it’s not aliens or superheroes.Jupiter, the largest protective shield in the solar system, is the solar system’s garbage collector, and it’s also protecting earth.It is the largest and fastest spinning of the eight planets in our solar system.Jupiter is one-thousandth the mass of the Sun, 2.5 times the mass of the other seven planets in the solar system combined, and its gravity is three times that of Earth.Jupiter acts as a giant shield against the wind and rain.Why do you say that?You know, there are thousands of celestial bodies floating around in the solar system, and these celestial bodies are floating around in space, and maybe one of them will fall to earth.Some objects fall to Jupiter after being blocked by Jupiter’s massive body or caught by the planet’s gravity.Most famously, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into Jupiter in 1994.Comet Shoemaker was discovered by scientists in 1993.In 1994, comet Shoemaker passed by Jupiter and was captured by Jupiter’s gravity. Under the strong gravity of Jupiter, Comet Shoemaker was torn apart into 13 bodies of different sizes, which fell to Jupiter successively.Scientists estimate that the force of the collision was equivalent to the explosion of two billion atomic bombs.If Comet Shoemaker had not been caught by Jupiter’s gravity and crashed into Earth, we might have disappeared from the earth, just like the dinosaurs did more than 60 million years ago.Currently, there are 79 satellites orbiting Jupiter, most of which were captured by Jupiter’s gravity, and countless meteorites and comets fell due to Jupiter’s gravity.Without Jupiter’s gravitational tug, so many celestial bodies are flying around the solar system that one of them might collide with the Earth.Most of the meteorites that fall to Earth burn up as they pass through the atmosphere, and while we’re enjoying our lives here on Earth, there are actually 1.9 meteorites of all kinds falling into the Earth every day, traveling at tens of kilometers per second.Because they generally travel fast relative to Earth, these meteorites would have compressed the air in front of them as they entered the dense atmosphere.One is that the surface gets so hot that it burns up before it gets out of the atmosphere.The other is to build up a high pressure inside, which explodes in mid-air, and the fragments continue to burn.The meteorite that fell to Russia in 2013 exploded and broke apart in mid-air is a case in point.Also, the air in the atmosphere is unevenly distributed, and the closer you get to the surface, the denser the air becomes.The lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere, is the thickest layer of the atmosphere, with an average thickness of only 12 kilometers, but it contains about 75 percent of the atmosphere’s mass.When a meteorite reaches a dense zone, its temperature and pressure rise sharply, making it more likely that the meteorite will burn to ash or explode to disintegrate.Most meteorites, when burned, weigh no more than 1-2 grams. If they landed in a crowded city, they would do no harm, and people might think of them as ordinary pebbles.Meteorites want to hit the crowded city, from the probability of the probability is very low why say the probability of meteorites hit the city is very low?This starts with the distribution of the earth’s land and sea and the area inhabited by humans.About 71 percent of the earth’s surface is ocean. The land area is 149 million square kilometers, or 29 percent of the planet.33 percent of the land area is barren desert, and about 9.4 percent is Antarctica.In addition to these, there are large areas of land on the Gobi, virgin forests, permafrost, mountains and other places that are not suitable for human habitation.If you add it all up, less than 16 percent of the land is habitable, or about 80 million square kilometers.Eighty million square kilometers, that may seem like a lot, but it’s only four percent of the earth’s surface area.However, the proportion of urban area in this 4% is much lower than that of villages, towns and other low-density gathering areas.In this case, the probability of a falling meteorite hitting a populated area is already low, and the probability of hitting a densely populated city is even lower.This is like us from a distance of 5 meters, with darts to the target, without professional training, the probability of the average person to hit the red heart is very low.Said that in the end the Earth as the only planet in the solar system there is life, there are Jupiter and other major planets outside the protection of the atmosphere, coupled with human life on the earth area is not large, meteorites want to hit the city is not an easy thing.In fact, even if a meteorite landed in the suburbs, most people would think it was an ordinary rock.Take the largest meteorite discovered by human beings at present – Hoba meteorite, for example, it is in the form of “water floating” landing on the Earth, and did not form a crater, people have always thought that it is a stone ordinary stone, until 1920 was confirmed as a meteorite.Generally speaking, the earth we live on is still very safe, and we don’t have to worry about meteorites falling on our heads one day.