Risk of death from meteorite impact
The risk of dying from a meteorite impact large enough to produce an impact site the size of Meteor Crater in Arizona (approximately 40 megaton) is only 1 in 765 million.
"Damage by impact, the case at Meteor Crater, Arizona" written by Linda M.V. Martel from Hawaii's Institute of Geophysics and Planetology url: http://www.psrd.hawaii.edu/Dec97/impactBlast.html
What the sources tell us
- An impact large enough to produce a crater the size of Meteor Crater occurs approximately every 1,500 years somewhere on Earth.
- The area devastated around Meteor Crater is approximately 1,000 sq km.
- The surface area of the Earth is 510,000,000 sq km.
Give us the odds
- If a meteor impact were to occur, the risk of the 1,000 sq km in which you live being struck is 1 in 510,000.
- Therefore the risk of you being killed by a meteor impact of this size is 1 in 765,000,000.
Annual risk of death from meteor stike
Risk Communication Tool (c) John Paling 2000 (www.riskcomm.com)
This doesn't seem a very big risk, but of course a much smaller meteor than that which created Meteor Crater would still be enough to give us a bit of a headache. But then Bandolier's head is somewhat smaller than 1000 sq km across.
The fact is that most of us, in our lifetimes, have never heard of anyone killed by a falling meteor, so whatever
It is interesting to ask the question - "What would you do if you were having a gin and tonic in the sunshine and someone told you to run because a meteor might hit."
The answers seem evenly divided between those who would run, and those who would demand an especially large gin and tonic.