Detail Page

written by Doug Hamilton
supported by the National Science Foundation
This item is an interactive tool that calculates the crater depth and energy released when an asteroid or comet collides with a planet. Users can choose to bombard any planet in our solar system, and may also set the diameter, composition, and velocity of the impacting object. This resource was designed to help students understand the relationship between mass and momentum, and how a planet's atmosphere helps protect it from bombardment.

This item is part of a larger collection of animations, simulations, and interactive tools for astronomy students.  SEE RELATED MATERIALS on this page for a link to the full collection.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
- Astronomy Education
- Fundamentals
= Celestial Mechanics
- Solar System
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Game
= Interactive Simulation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- General Publics
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 Doug Hamilton and the University of Maryland, College Park, 2004.
asteroid collision, asteroid impact, comet collision, comet impact, crater, meteor, meteor collision, meteor impact, planetary bombardment, simulation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 2, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
March 12, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 31, 2007
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4A. The Universe
  • 6-8: 4A/M4. Many chunks of rock orbit the sun. Those that meet the earth glow and disintegrate from friction as they plunge through the atmosphere—and sometimes impact the ground. Other chunks of rock mixed with ice have long, off-center orbits that carry them close to the sun, where the sun's radiation (of light and particles) boils off frozen materials from their surfaces and pushes it into a long, illuminated tail.

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (1993 Version)


B. Mathematics, Science, and Technology
  • 2B (9-12) #1.  Mathematical modeling aids in technological design by simulating how a proposed system would theoretically behave.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
D. Hamilton, (2004), WWW Document, (
D. Hamilton, Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions, (2004), <>.
APA Format
Hamilton, D. (2007, August 31). Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from
Chicago Format
Hamilton, Doug. Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions. August 31, 2007. (accessed 28 July 2017).
MLA Format
Hamilton, Doug. Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions. 2004. 31 Aug. 2007. National Science Foundation. 28 July 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Doug Hamilton", Title = {Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {28 July 2017}, Month = {August 31, 2007}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%A Doug Hamilton
%T Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions
%D August 31, 2007
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Hamilton, Doug
%D August 31, 2007
%T Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions
%V 2017
%N 28 July 2017
%8 August 31, 2007
%9 text/html

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Astronomy Workshop: Solar System Collisions:

Is Part Of Astronomy Workshop Tools

A link to the full collection of Astronomy Workshop animations, simulations, and interactive tools (all created by the same authors).

relation by Caroline Hall
Simulates Astronomy Behind the Headlines: Impact on Jupiter

This is a podcast about the very recent impact of an object with the surface of Jupiter. It is accompanied by an extensive resource guide to background information and online materials relating to collisions by meteors, asteroids, and comets.

relation by Caroline Hall
Simulates NASA ARES Project: Exploring Meteorite Mysteries

A set of 19 inquiry-based lessons for grades 6-12 on meteorites and their effect upon impact with Earth. Lessons range in complexity, allowing adaptation for middle school science through high school physics classrooms.

relation by Caroline Hall

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