The man who shoots meteorites
08-06-2015 THE CAB IN THE MEDIA (Vozpópuli)

Jens Ormö performs meteorite impact simulations at the facilities of the Astrobiology Center in Madrid. The firing of projectiles to more than 500 m / s on different surfaces serves to know the history of our planet and the Solar System.

When Jens climbs to the top of the scaffolding and prepares the The cannon for the shot recalls the topical image of a scientist "playing at being God". The room, about 100 square meters, contains a funnel-shaped platform 7 meters high and 3 meters in diameter with a large tank with special sand. After placing the cameras and spotlights, Jens stands behind a bulletproof glass and activates the device. An instant later, the projectile leaves the canyon at 1,800 km / h and hits the sand forming a crater several centimeters in diameter, similar to that caused by a meteorite falling on Earth or another celestial body. < p> "It's like shooting the magnum of Harry the dirty one", jokes while he shows us the recordings with high speed cameras that allow him to analyze in detail how the impact has been and what physical phenomena are unleashed. We are in the Laboratory of Experimental Impact Craters in the Astrobiology Center (CAB / INTA) assigned to NASA, in Torrejón de Ardoz. During the last ten years, Ormö and his team have carried out tests with this 20.5 mm compressed air cannon and have unraveled some of the unknowns about the formation of craters on Mars, the Moon or the Earth. < p> ...


Jens Ormö , Department of Planetology and habitability, Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA)

Scientific Culture Unit of the CAB


Fuente: Vozpópuli


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