Originally Posted by Wilhelm
Yeah, makes sense.. could go either way I guess.
I remember reading that before satellite tracking, etc., if something that big hit the ocean, we wouldn't have even known about it. So while Tunguska is the biggest on record, there's much more water than land.
Now we are beginning to discuss apples and oranges ...
For hypervelocity impacts, crater volume is directly porportional to impact energy. In the case of a satellite falling from a decayed orbit, the velocity of impact is something that aerodynamically decayed from initial earth orbit speed of around 13,000 mph to something else significantly less. However, in the case of meteors or comets, we are talking about significantly higher velocities as these bodies cross the Earth's orbit path around the sun. Earth's orbit speed is over 67,000 mph, and the relative speed of its impact with a meteor or comet can be many times this number.
What this means is yes, the satellite crashing into the ocean would not be noticable a short distance away. HOWEVER, a large meteor or comet crashing into the ocean could be majorly destructive on many continents, due to the huge ocean waves that would be produced. Such waves could be literally thousands of feet high as they come to shore around the planet.