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Front cover image - large version

Volume 67, Issue 9, September 2014

cover: On 15 February 2013, a 20-m-diameter asteroid pierced Earth's atmosphere over Russia, traveling at more than 19 km/s. Energy that radiated from shocked and ionized air vaporized a thin layer of rock, which was swept into the wake. Seconds later, high pressures broke the asteroid into large fragments, trailed by vortices of hot, condensed debris. This threedimensional simulation by Mark Boslough used the shock physics code CTH on Sandia National Laboratories' Red Sky supercomputer and was rendered by Brad Carvey. For a detailed history of the event, including the asteroid's half-megaton mid-air explosion, see the article by David Kring and Mark Boslough on page 32.

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Scitation: Physics Today - Print edition
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