Remember playing the computer game Asteroid on your bulky desktop computer that you shared with your siblings back in the day?
Well, the game just got real. There’s a website that allows you to see an asteroid hitting earth in real-time (though it’s fake, of course).
The site, neal.fun/asteroid-launcher, is a cinch to use but gives you plenty of options.
Once you log on, you can choose the type of asteroid you’d like to hit: Iron, stone, carbon, comet, or gold. How destructive would you like your asteroid to be? It’s a choose-your-own adventure affair. You, the user, can set the diameter (3 feet to 1 mile), speed (1,000 mph to 250K mph), and impact angle (5 degrees to 90 degrees).
Next, select your impact location. Maybe you’d like to see what an asteroid hitting earth would look like in your hometown — if you’re feeling particularly dark.
Finally, select “launch asteroid” and watch the asteroid nearing earth and the impact it makes.
You’ll get a copy of your results. For example, “Your asteroid blew up 32 miles above ground” and “the explosion was equivalent to 4 kilotons of TNT.”
Then, you can click “new” or “launch asteroid” and see what another winning combination will do to the world below you. It’s mindless — albeit dark — fun and perfect for someone who has an hour left to kill (no pun intended) at work or who really enjoyed the Academy Award-nominated flick Don’t Look Up. And, if we’re being honest, an asteroid nearing earth doesn’t seem out of the question after what else we’ve witnessed over the last few years.
The creator was pretty proud of themselves and took to Reddit to announce his site’s launch (no pun intended).
“I made a page that lets you launch an asteroid at Earth and see the effects,” wrote u/OrangeProtoype in the r/TheInternetIsBeautiful subreddit.
Then, they provided a link to the site, and that was that.
Reddit loved it, and commenters were eager to share their hot takes.
“I had a fun time finding an asteroid that was big enough to destroy my workplace but not my apartment,” said one new fan.
“Great idea! I can take an 80m iron asteroid at 17km/s and 45d, and I should just be ok at home,” applauded another.
“Rest of my workday is now booked — sorry, Diane,” said someone else, who probably also recently quietly quit.
Another Redditor is already begging for version 2.0.
“This is cool! The one suggestion I would have is to add some presets based on notable asteroid impacts from history. It’d be interesting to see how much damage the Chicxulub asteroid would do to a current city,” said the person.
We hope the original poster is taking notes because that would make the whole site educational. We’ll let you know if that happens.
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