It is widely accepted that a meteor impact is what destroyed the dinosaurs.  That meteor is believed to have struck in the Yucatan Peninsula and was about 10 kilometers in size at impact.  The result was massive destruction that blocked out the sun, destroying the dinosaurs, allowing mammals and eventually humans to evolve later.

What if that same meteor were to impact the Earth today?  What if it struck a highly populated area, say Los Angeles?

A professor by the name of Dr. Robert Marcus decided to create an online program that can predict the effects of any size meteor or comet hitting the Earth at any point.  You plug in information about the object striking the Earth such as its size, speed, density, etc. and it determines the effects that would occur.  You can map the effects, as shown in the picture below, or get a text explaining what would happen in your area based on how far away you were at the time of impact.

By inputting different numbers, choosing different types of impactors, and type of area it strikes such as water, sedimentary rock, etc., you can see what you would expect to happen.  It’s pretty interesting and fun to play around with, plus it uses sound scientific information based on what we know today about the impact process.