You might have heard about a couple of big movies about asteroids which are heading towards the cinemas this summer. Great, finally my science gets recognised as a good subject for a real disaster movie.
I'm not going to take sides about which movie is the best but having seen the trailers I was prompted to try and produce a more accurate image of what an asteroid impact might look like. The trailer for 'Deep Impact' shows a very impressive impact, presumably using the latest, cutting edge Hollywood special effects. But using what Hollywood probably thought looked good everything happens about 100 times too fast.
Also recently there has been the 'scare' regarding the close approach of 1997XF11 in 2028 so I wanted to do something similar to what might happen if it really did hit - I wanted a 1 mile object, travelling at about 18 kilometers per second on impact.
Here I present an ongoing effort to make something a little more realistic using a cutting edge OS (Linux, as used in 'Titanic' - it's nice to know I had a hand in making that film ;-) a cutting edge free raytracer (povray) and some other bits and bobs.
The Making Of
Other animations by Scott Manley
Last Revised: 2010 September 2nd