Sunday, February 17, 2013

Eyes On The Skies

Have you ever had a dream about a meteorite hitting earth? The large celestial rock travels down to our mundane earth, and destroys life as we know it. As your standing on the ground you walk on every day you stare up. The sky is just as it’s always been except for the next second you see a bright object streaking across the sky. At first you think, wow this is a beautiful sight. But then you realize, as it gets closer, how serious the situation is. The next thing you know everything has changed, and what began as a once in a lifetime astronomical event has transformed into a life altering catastrophe.
            Now of course that’s just an explanation of a dream, but it could happen. Nothing is guarding the earth from being hit by something that could ruin everything. Our telescopes are limited to what they can see when it comes to dark objects in the sky, and let’s be real about this. There is a lot of sky to search through for these meteors. Shooting stars occur every day and sometimes connect with the ground, but most of the time it’s over the ocean or in a low populated area. If they’re seen the media doesn't pick up the stories, because there is plenty more stories to cover that may be more interesting to the viewing public.
Recently the news has been talking about a few sky events that have happened. In the western Siberian sky on Friday February, 15th 2013 in Moscow, Russia. A meteor shot through our atmosphere with a blaze. It exploded with a force of 20 atomic bombs, and injured more than 1,000 people. The explosion blasted out windows, which created panic in the large city of 1 million people. Nasa reported that the meteor was about the size of a bus and weighed around 7,000 tons. It frightened and confused onlookers who shot videos which showed its streaming contrails as it came toward the horizon after sunrise.
            This happened about 9:20 a.m. in Siberian time, which was about 10:20 p.m. EST Thursday. It soared at a speed of at least 33,000 mph and once it exploded, it shattered about 18 to 32 miles up in the sky. The trail was about 300 miles long. You may ask what the damages were. Well the shock wave blew in about 1 million square feet of glass. City officials said 3,000 buildings in Chelyabinsk were damaged, and a zinc factory’s roof collapsed in a certain area. About 1,100 people had to get medical attention to treat injuries, and 48 were put in the hospital. The injuries were caused by flying glass from the shock wave  They were hurt because when an intense flash of light came so many people rushed to windows to see what caused it. Some say that the light was momentarily brighter than the sun! The meteorite fell in a reservoir outside Chebarkul, and left a 26 foot crater in the ice.
            Hours before the meteorite exploded in Russia a 150-foot asteroid passed within about 17,000 miles of Earth. This happened over the northern California skies at around 2.25 p.m. EST. The meteor caused no injuries, or at least none that were reported. This asteroid was named 2012 DA14, and came within 17,200 miles of Earth at the closest point. This is closer than many of the satellites that circle our planet! This was the closest approach of such a large asteroid.
            Nasa stresses that asteroid 2012 DA14 and the meteorite in Russia are non-related. Apparently it was a cosmic coincidence that happened on the same day within hours of one another. Hmm…. They also say that little is known about the meteor in the Bay Area of California. They don’t know where it came from. Certain officials say that such things are very faint in the sky and difficult to detect. It’s not impossible, but it’s really difficult.  
            Now could this have caused much more damage? Yes! Is their celestial events that happen like this every day, but simply occur over underpopulated areas or oceans? Yes!  Could they have been unrelated? Yes! I’m not saying that dooms day is here, but what I am saying is that we should all be aware! Let’s say that Nasa knew of a large meteor coming our way, and they thought it would hit Earth. Do you think they would say anything to us, and take a chance on a mass panic? No! I seriously doubt they would. People would be going crazy. I’m not trying to start a government cover-up blog or anything. But all I am saying is that this is creepy. This is two celestial events over well populated areas within hours of one another, what are the chances? What do you think? I know my conclusion.