Tuesday, October 27, 2009

yowee, just when the cosmos seemed all safe..

...something like this happens.

Now, it is kind of interesting how little we heard about this. This waggish headline follows up a little more.

But, in short, a 30 foot or so meteor entered Earth's atmosphere over Indonesia and exploded with the force of a little more than two Nagasaki bombs some thousands of feet up. What's more, "...assuming an estimated size of 5-10 meters, we would expect a fireball event of this magnitude every 2 to 12 years on average...".

REeeaally? More or less random detonations of nuclear weapon proportions every 2-12 years or so? This the first we've heard of this. Maybe a little more interesting is that meteors of this size would not connect with the ground unless they are 25 meters(80 feet or so) across or bigger. And, in that case, some major damage could occur.

Now, even more interestinger, there was no advance indication that this was going to happen. While it is the case that many objects of relatively small diameters are catalogued and more are being discovered all the time, this is no means all of them. And 'relatively small' meaning less than one kilometer estimated diameter, but the majority of those being discovered are larger than the one that blew up over Indonesia, which makes sense because they are bigger, and therefore easier to see.

Many more have been discovered recently, the most ever, and this is because they are looking harder, with better technology-- it is true.

But even so, they missed that one over Indonesia. They would need more telescopes, more money to build them, to catch more.

One 80 footer could wreak havoc.


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