Gigantic tsunami main content.

Gigantic tsunami

Part of Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites.

D. Illustration Asteroid landing in the ocean.jpg

Exhibition Text


An asteroid with a diameter of one kilometer (0.6 mile) could completely devastate a land area the size of Europe and blanket Earth with dust. But because two-thirds of Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a more likely outcome would be an enormous tsunami, or "tidal wave."

Roughly 1,100 asteroids of this size have Earth-crossing orbits, and the Spaceguard detection program, supported by NASA, is scheduled to map 90 percent of them by 2008. Only o