Lose yourself in this map of every meteorite strike on Earth
Monday, May 25, 2015, 1:17 PM - Ever see a shooting star streak across the sky and wonder if it ever hit the ground?
Thanks to data journalists at The Guardian in the UK, plus the CEO of data visualization company CartoDB, you might be able to find out where your meteor fell, along with countless others from across the world.
CartoDB co-founder Javier de la Torre was apparently at a loose end in 2013, and passed the time by redoing a map on meteorite impacts that had appeared in the Guardian. Here's de la Torre's handiwork:
The gorgeous heat map is based on data culled from the website of the Meteoritical Society, which tracks known meteorite impacts (note it only features impacts, not just sightings. For those, the American Meteor Society has you covered).
And it is all completely zoomable, with each impact site displaying information like the meteor's type and composition, as well as whether it was found after impact, or whether it fell and was observed landing.
You have to take into account that the map shows only reported impacts (some dating back to 2300 BC), not total impacts, but there are still a few surprises. Look how many there are in Oman on the Arabian Peninsula, Antarctica, a long corridor between South Australia and Western Australia, and Chile's Atacama desert.
Looking at North America, there are quite a few in the less forested parts of the United States where you would expect darker night skies (for meteors that are observed falling, rather than found later).
In Canada, the biggest concentrations are in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. They're almost absent from B.C. and Atlantic Canada, but there's a few impact craters up north, some dating back hundreds of years.
Though the map was originally drawn by Guardian data journalist Simon Rogers, it was tweaked by de la Torre in 2013. It resurfaced this weekend on the website Visual News.