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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Big Blue Marble

By now, if you don't live under a rock, you have heard and seen reports of the meteor streaking through South-central Russia yesterday and striking near the city of Chelyabinsk.  Reports indicate that over 900 people were injured due to glass and other debris falling as a result of the large sonic booms generated by the fast moving visitor from space.

A few years ago, I took an Astronomy course.  The one aspect of Astronomy and the study of planets, stars, and other celestial bodies that made a large impression on me is the relative size of it all.  The universe is HUGE!!!!

Meteors striking Earth have happened frequently and some have theorized that the Dinosaurs were made extinct from a large scale strike which disrupted the Dinosaurs food supply.  Satellite photos have pinpointed evidence of past meteor strikes with high resolution photos of craters. 

As our big blue marble turns and circles the sun, we realize that there is so much space junk out there.  One interesting note about yesterday's strike in Chelyabinsk was that astronomers were watching the closest pass (within the orbit of some satellites) of Asteroid -DA14.  Astronomers, as well as the population of South-central Russia were UNAWARE of the bus sized meteor racing towards them. 

Here is an interesting article about the events yesterday with photos and video:

What else is out there?

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