It’s not easy to discuss the topic of cosmic impact events. Not even if, to talk about it in a fascinating way, you decide to follow the paths of fantasy. There is always the lurking risk of getting carried away by an excessive trivialization or by the show’s sake. Often setting aside – or even ignoring – every possible connection with the physical reality and with the laws that rule it.
Here the choice is different. In fact, not only I try to find the right alchemy between the scientific strictness, the simplicity of exposition and the exact dose of literary fantasy that makes the tale believable – because it is still a tale. Here, instead, I want to prove to take a more complicated road. Not as much on the events, almost trivial in their inevitable progression, but on the decision of telling the facts while relying on rigorous scientific studies. This is, maybe, a strange way of trying to do scientific divulgation.
The scenario that I decided to hypotize is the one of an impact event upon a big metropolis of our days. And which city can evoke more charm and attract more attention than the Eternal City? It will be hypotized an impact on Rome. Nothing that is terribly big, nothing similar to the popular “dinosaurs impact”, so dear to literature and cinema. The bullet will be a small asteroid, a little bit bigger than fifty meters, identificated, almost by chance, at the very last minute, when there are just a few hours left to its appointment with the Earth.
Despite the small size of the bullet, however, the scenario that will open in front of our eyes will be frightfully destructive. The most dramatic aspect is that this scenario is not the result of fervid fantasies, but due to precise and accurate scientific analysis.