Chance of a Meteor Hitting an Airplane Calculated

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MeteorWayne

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I asume Phil Plaitt will have a fit with this.

The assertion "“approximately 3,000 meteors a day with the requisite mass strike Earth” has no meaning. the more relevant question is how many of them will survive ti 35,000 feet where they could be a threat to an aircraft? That is not addressed.

"Helfand, an astronomer, is presumably the one who estimated that “approximately 3,000 meteors a day with the requisite mass strike Earth”. This is a difficult number to get. How much mass? How fast does it need to be moving? But let’s assume that this number is correct; it translates to 125 meteors per hour"
A generous assumption....I will be interested to see Phil's response...
 
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centsworth_II

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From comments to the blog:
Bruce the Canuck Says:
"'approximately 3,000 meteors a day with the requisite mass strike Earth'
The words “strike the earth” stand out here.... So there might be many more substantial ones at jetliner altitudes?"

But then, Henry Mullaney Says:
"I am also an astronomer. On any given day, many tens of thousands of meteors enter our atmosphere.... Nearly all of these burn up in the atmosphere before hitting the earth. Common sense tells you that if thousands of these fell to earth each hour, then we’d all have holes in our roofs."

Physicists think they are such smarty pants! :lol:
 
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ZenGalacticore

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That is hilarious! That is, that there's actually people who sit around doing the calculations that determine the chances of a streaking meteor colliding with an airplane. :) Can't these people apply themselves somewhere else? How about calculating the fuel/weight ratio of hybrid automobiles or something? Jeeze!

Or better yet, what are the chances of a speeding BB hitting a single bee in a swarm of bees?
 
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bdewoody

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But it is possible just like I think it's possible that it may have happened to that TWA flight that they used the fuel pump excuse on.
 
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