World Map

This isn't a perfect map, and it's not a perfect model considering it is a 2D surface and my question relies on a 3D scenario, however it offers a general idea for what I want. In the bottom left hand side of the image, there is an area called "Pike's Point". My question is, how logical is it for a space ship to crash land there, and is there a higher likelihood for it to crash land somewhere else? If this map is part of a larger map, and there is more ocean surrounding the area that is depicted here, does that change the outcome of where it may land?


closed as primarily opinion-based by StephenG, Mołot, elemtilas, kingledion, L.Dutch Nov 9 '18 at 4:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ The answer to this relies on a lot of additional information. Was the ship in orbit? What kind of orbit? If not, where was the ship coming from? $\endgroup$ – Arkenstein XII Nov 8 '18 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, this is so incredibly opinion-based that it's likely to get a number of close votes as currently formatted. You might try posting this in the sandbox to get some help on how to ask in manner which gets you what you're looking for without being so heavily opinion-based: [worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6168/… $\endgroup$ – GerardFalla Nov 8 '18 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ Did it make a sub-orbital hop from the planet, or is it from some other planet? Is the ship still under some control, or is just crashing blindly? Meteorites strike all over Earth. I don't know if the distribution is uniform or biased to the equator or what, but I don't see any reason to think that area on your map couldn't have something crash there. $\endgroup$ – Harabeck Nov 8 '18 at 22:21
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    $\begingroup$ How many darts can I throw at your map? Nice map, but a space ship could literally crash anywhere. Please take a look at the help center and tour to get a good idea of the kinds of questions allowable here. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Nov 8 '18 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ Are you asking where it would crash (given no more information, anywhere), or assuming it will crash at Pike's Point and trying to figure out why? $\endgroup$ – David Thornley Nov 8 '18 at 23:52

If the ship is coming in randomly from space, it is like any other space debris. Incoming asteroids hitting the earth do so at random. It looks like more hit around the equator but this is a Mercator projection, and so those central squares contain relatively more area than those near the poles.


enter image description here

But if your crew still has any control over the ship, I can think of a great reason they might want to come down near Pike's Point: they want to evade detection and discovery by the intelligent inhabitants of the planet. Pikes point is a mountainous, remote peninsula and so unlikely to have villages or cities. I envision it like Baja California, or the Kamchatka peninsula. The descent of the ship across the ocean to finish here is unlikely to be witnessed. In this location the crew will have time to await rescue by their countrymen, or repair their ship before they are discovered.

  • $\begingroup$ Meteorites are actually more likely to hit near the equator, because most objects orbiting the sun are roughly in the plane of the Earth's orbit. With the Earth's 23 degree axial tilt, that means that wherever in the tropics that the sun is directly overhead at noon (the plane of the ecliptic) has the highest chance of being hit. If the ecliptic has a chance of 1, then the chance of any other point is sin($\theta$), where $\theta$ is the latitude difference between that point and the ecliptic. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Nov 8 '18 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @kingledion and yet, the graphic from Nasa in Wullk's post shows otherwise. There are lots of debris in space orbiting the sun in planes different from Earth too, enough that the distribution is practically random. In fact the debris close to our orbital plane have mostly been cleared out through the aeons. $\endgroup$ – Renan Nov 9 '18 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ I agree that Pike Point is the best place to avoid detection: it is out of the way, and isolated by the desert. Middle of the desert might have been better, but crash-landing in water is safer. $\endgroup$ – Bald Bear Nov 9 '18 at 14:43

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