Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Meteors


I was thinking about meteors today and how we kind of go through our day-to-day lives forgetting how every once in a while an occurrence that’s huge or strange happens to the earth. 

Meteors are just so “out there” aren’t they?  Huge rocks floating through space, sometimes hitting the earth.  The one that seems to have extinguished the dinosaurs was something like six miles in diameter and hit the earth at 40,000 miles per hour.  Man, that’s a big impact, and a big splash!

I read somewhere that in the year 2850 or so, there’s a pretty big one headed our way again, though not as big as the Yucatan-impact meteor.  We all may have moved on by then.

But what would it be like, if maybe we had one that wasn’t too big, but still big enough to create quite a scene, like a rock 50 feet in diameter hitting the ocean outside the Santa Monica bay in the middle of the afternoon?   

You’re laying on your towel getting some sun on a Saturday, and a bright light comes down out of the sky at seems to impact the ocean 300 miles out.   Maybe you’d see a huge column of spray and fire slowly rises from the ocean’s horizon.  Then, within a half hour, people would be evacuated from the coastal areas for the inevitable tsunami that would be arriving.

The earth seems so peaceful in its natural state, and yet some really big things have happened in it’s history, the size of which, we could not begin to imagine.

Here’s a cool shot below by a woman in Colorado who had a camera in the 1970’s and caught a meteor skimming the surface of our atmosphere.