For many years, scientists and non-scientists had been worrying that one day, a deadly asteroid will hit Earth again and produce as much damage as the one that killed the dinosaurs did. The Chicxulub crater of 150 km in diameter is located underneath today’s Yucatan Peninsula from Mexico, and it’s the aftermath for the ‘global killer’ that eradicated the dinosaurs 60 million years ago.
But hopefully, humanity will find a way to deal with such an asteroid by destroying or deflecting it. But until then, scientists need as much data as they can about these cosmic beasts, as well as where exactly are they more likely to hit our planet.
Meteorites are more likely to strike near the equator
Geoffrey Evatt, who is an applied mathematician from the University of Manchester in England, calculated along with his colleagues where they might find meteorites. In two summers, the researchers found 120 meteorites. The outcome matched their prediction and gave them the confidence to use their calculations for creating some global statistics.
Evatt gives the verdict by saying:
“The punchline is that if you want to go and see these fireballs streaking across the sky, it’s best to be near the equator,”
In order to tease out the number of meteorites that are falling on a stranding region every year, the researchers calculated the ice’s movement, as well as the rate of snow accumulation and ice sublimation.
To verify the discovery, the team broke down by latitude data from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA. The new analysis revealed a similar intensity trend: a diminished rate of meteorites toward the poles, while the rate from the equator was significantly bigger.
So there you have it: if you don’t live near the equator, chances are less likely for you to be visited by a rude guest who doesn’t know how to say ‘Hello!’ and doesn’t excuse himself for the bothering.
The results of the study were reported online in Geology last month.