Meteor Impacts
Note that the article used in this activity is no longer on-line.  However, the questions are general enough to be adapted for use with other materials.
Directions:  Go to and read the article “Impact Cratering on Earth.”  The following questions come from that article.   However, you are strongly encouraged to browse the rest of the site, particularly the impact maps and photographs.

1. How long did the period of intense bombardment that cratered much of the solar system last?

2. What does the origin of our moon have to do with celestial impacts?  Describe what scientists think might have happened.

3. List and describe or illustrate some of the different types of impact craters found on Earth and the moon.

4. What are some shock effects produced by meteorite collisions?

5. What is the K-T boundary and what does it have to do with meteor impacts?

6. Describe how debris from a major impact could be spread around the globe.

7. What determines whether a meteor or comet will distribute most of its energy in an impact with the surface or the atmosphere?

8. The last paragraph of this article alludes to probabilities.  You may remember a discussion by a seismologist on a video we watched earlier this semester.  He warned that a major earthquake may hit the west coast in the next 35 years.  He was concerned that people saw this as a prediction of an earthquake 35 years from now, when, in fact, the “Big One” could be tomorrow.  What does the information in this article (particularly the graph) tell us about the likelihood of a major meteor impact in our lifetimes?

Copyright Alexplorer. Some items taken from or adapted from other materials. This page is free for use in a classroom setting.
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