- Created: Tuesday, 05 February 2013 00:00
- Written by Nadia O’Carroll
One of the most popular end of the world scenarios depicted in science fiction and Hollywood blockbusters is the impact event, when a large celestial object such as a comet, asteroid, planet or meteorite on a collision course with Earth threatens to devastate the planet. This is not pure fantasy, we are constantly bombarded from space, but fortunately there appears to be an inverse relationship between the size and frequency of impact events. Small celestial objects such as meteorites frequently collide with Earth but are either vapourised by the atmosphere or are too small to have an effect when they hit with the Earth's surface. However, when larger objects strike the planet the impact can cause abrupt, global changes that effect climate, biodiversity and even the Earth's magnetic field.