Existential risk simulator: throw asteroids at the Earth

Had a bad week? Or just simply looking for a way to kill time at work as the year winds down? How about simulating asteroid collisions with the Earth? [via Space.com]

Just to get the disappointment up front: you don’t get a Hollywood CGI rendering of your imaginary impact (though there is a sort of intro video of a rock falling into the gravity well that runs while the calculations are being done, a bit like a cut-scene from Bruce Willis Saves The Planet While Wearing a Grubby Wifebeater Vest: The Computer Game or something). But what you do get is a list of statistical stuff: energy released in impact, crater size, thermal radiation, that sort of thing.

So, a pretty decent tool for doing the worldbuilding due diligence on your apocalypse novel… or simply exercising your inner misanthrope (fluffy white lap-cat and hammy accent optional).