Interactive map shows every recorded meteorite strike on Earth

first_imgUnless you’ve been living under a (terrestrial) rock, you’re probably aware of the meteorite that exploded in the sky over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk last week. In the relatively short lifespan of humans, this is a rare occurrence worthy of near extensive news coverage. When you look at things from the Earth’s perspective, space rocks drop out of the sky all the time. Now there is a cool online tool you can use to see all the recorded impacts since about 2,300 BCE.The impact tracker was created by Javier de la Torre using the mapping software developed by his geo-location company CartoDB. De la Torre used a freely-available cache of impact data posted on the Guardian website as the base of his map. It was a simple matter of dumping the CSV into CartoDB (which uses OpenStreetMap) and doing some tweaks for better visuals. The video above shows the entire process, which took 30 minutes of real time.The result is a slick interactive map that shows the 34,513 location where humans have found meteorites. The size of the halo indicates the approximate size of the object. The data comes from the Meteorological Society and only includes sites where meteorites or craters have actually been discovered. Even with all those dots, we’re surely missing a big chunk that were never found.This isn’t just a pretty picture — you can actually zoom and click on the impact sites to get a little bit of data on the object. You can find out when it was discovered, its composition, and the approximate mass. It’s interesting to note that the highest densities of located objects seem to be in flat or arid regions. Check out the Middle East/Sahara, American southwest/midwest, and Atacama Desert in South America. That’s not surprising as it’s easier to spot meteorites in such landscapes. More populated areas are also denser on this map.The map itself is fun to play with, but you can also see all the meteorites in table format. The data is even exportable as a CSV, KML, SHP, or geojson file. Enjoy, and keep watching the skies.last_img

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