ROCKY HORROR PITCHER SHOW
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
Today, I received a pleasant surprise in the mail. There was a box that was addressed to me from Geoff Notkin who is the owner of Aerolite Meteorites in Tucson, Arizona. Inside the box was a black rock in a plastic bag. It was part of a meteorite that fell on February 12th, 1947 at 10:38 AM over a remote part of Siberia.
This meteorite is known as the Sikhote-Alin meteorite.
Witnesses reported a fireball that was brighter than the sun. It came from out of the north about 15 degrees east of north and descended at an angle of 41 degrees. It left a trail of smoke and dust that was 20 miles long and lingered for several hours. Light and sound of the fall were observed for two hundred miles around the point of impact.
The speed of entry was estimated to be 14.5 kilometers per second. This is about 8.7 miles per second or 31,000 miles per hour. As the meteorite entered the atmosphere some of it began to break apart. The group of fragments fell together.
When the descending group of meteorites reached an altitude of about 3.5 miles, the largest mass apparently broke up in a violent explosion. This was a very low altitude for such an event – about half the altitude at which passenger jets fly.
The fragments scattered over an elliptical area of about a half a square mile. The largest fragments made small craters and pits. One of these measured 85 feet across and 20 feet deep. The larger craters are located at the far end of the strewn field.
Sikhote-Alin is one of the most spectacular falls of recorded history and one of a very small number of recent iron meteorite falls.
What was most interesting about this gift was the synchronicity surrounding it.
I had discussed with my wife that I wanted to address an issue about a possible space rock that was predicted to hit the earth and the two approaches of space rocks that happened yesterday.
In order to understand the synchronicity, I have to take you back some 17 years.
Back in the year 2002, scientists had some bad news for the earth. Scientists were monitoring the movements of a huge space rock called 2002 NT7 and determined that there was a very good chance that it was going to collide with the earth at 11:47 eastern time of February 1st, 2019. Scientists concluded that it would be an ELE or an extinction level event unless something threw off its trajectory.
In 2002 the scientists determined that the bigger asteroid would be heralded by several smaller asteroids that would come very close to the earth and some of the smaller pieces of the rock would also be seen hitting the moon.
It was proposed that the big whopper of a space rock would wipe out an entire continent, plunge the world into a nuclear winter and take humanity to the brink of extinction.
After many months of holding on to a confident projection, the odds of this space rock hitting the planet started to change.
The odds that the world will end in 17 years from 2002 were estimated to be one in 75,000.
That compares with the one in 10,000 chances of a person being killed in a car crash in any one year and the one in 100,000 chances of being murdered. The odds of winning the national lottery jackpot are one in 14 million.
One would hope that a prediction of some doomsday asteroid hitting the planet, 17 years ago would be forgotten since the odds are so slim that anything on the extinction level would befall our planet.
However, a dose of reality tells us that we have been having a few close shaves with Near Earth Objects including one that hit the moon on January 20th, 2019, the night of the Blood Red Wolf Moon.
The rock that hit the moon during last week’s stunning eclipse had as much force as between 0.9 and 1.8 tons of dynamite.
Many observers of the moon that night saw a brief flash as the rock hit the moon.
Now researchers have analyzed the observations and found that the asteroid left behind a crater that could be up to 49 feet across. The researchers, from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, looked at videos taken by amateur astronomers to reconstruct what happened.
They published their findings in the journal, Icarus, and posted on Cornell University’s pre-print server.
‘The impact happened in the region of the easily identifiable Byrgius crater to the southeast of Mare Humoris,’ the paper reads.
The meteoroid that created the dent was probably no more than 1 to 1.6 feet in diameter.
It is estimated to have been traveling around 30,890 mph.
The moon’s surface regularly suffers impacts from little space rocks like this; the surface acquires an average of 140 craters a year.
However, Earth has a relatively thick atmosphere and smaller rocks burn up when they attempt to careen towards it.
The impact took place at around 11:41 p.m. ET and was captured in live-streams all around the world.
Now compare that with the possible rock that was predicted to hit the earth at 11:47 Eastern time on February 1st, 2019.
Also, it may be interesting to note that yesterday morning and evening two huge asteroids shot past the earth in close approach putting NASA on alert.
The first asteroid that passed by on close approach was Asteroid 2019 AN11- it measured only 170 feet and 18,000mph. The 2019 in its name means it was spotted this year or not too long ago, meaning it was a surprise.
The second one passed over in the evening.
2013 CW32 was first spotted in 2013.
It measures an enormous 820 feet across and is traveling at 36,775mph.
Both passed within 14 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. This, of course, sounds like it is very far in our terms but in cosmic terms, it is very close.
In fact, any near earth object passing within four million miles is close shave in cosmic terms.
The mainstream media will not tell you that within that past three months there have been 10 “near-Earth objects” as making a “close approach.
On January 7th, 2019, NASA issued a warning of the close approach of 2018 YQ2. It was the size of two crosstown busses put end to end and came within a dangerous approach of planet earth according to NASA’s asteroid experts at the California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory. During this flyby, the imposing asteroid reached its closest possible distance to the planet – a so-called “Earth Close Approach.”
NASA’s JPL scientists estimate YQ2 measures in the range of 52.5ft to 118.1ft in diameter.
Any asteroid in this size range could pack enough force to cause injury and destruction upon atmospheric entry.
This February, it will be six years since a rock the size of a six-story building exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia.
The blast was stronger than a nuclear explosion, triggering detections from monitoring stations as far away as Antarctica. The shock wave it generated shattered glass and injured about 1,200 people. Some scientists think the meteor was so bright it may have briefly outshone the sun.
Coincidentally, the explosion came on the same day that an asteroid was flying by Earth. Called 2012 DA14, it passed within 17,200 miles of Earth. The night of the explosion we were broadcasting about the approach of 2012 Da14 and reported about concerns that something passing that close could bring with it fragments or sweepers that could fall into the earth’s atmosphere and explode.
There were reports all over the world of bright flashes streaking across the sky but NASA quickly pointed out that the asteroid was traveling in a direction that was opposite to that of the small body that exploded over Chelyabinsk.
The explosion was pegged as 30 to 40 times stronger than the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. Chelyabinsk, however, did not produce as much of a blast as the Tunguska meteor, another object that exploded over Siberia in 1908. The Tunguska explosion flattened 825 square miles.
Luckily, it fell over one of the least-populated areas in the world, so no one has been killed or injured. The Tunguska Event is the most powerful impact ever recorded in human history. According to a recent study, the Beta Taurids were to blame for the phenomenon, and a new Tunguska Event could happen again in June 2019.
The Taurids are a meteor shower that happens twice a year, in June and in late October or early November. Beta Taurids are called those June meteors. According to Mark Boslough, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the tree-fall pattern at Tunguska reveals that the event has been caused by an asteroid coming from the same region of the sky as the Beta Taurids.
In 2019, Earth will travel through the densest cluster of material in the Taurids stream, and that might increase the risks of a new Tunguska Event.
Scientists are saying that the Taurids present a potentiality for the richest batch of incoming material since 1975.
In that year most of the incoming material was seen hitting the moon – much like what we saw happen during the lunar eclipse on January 20th.
If the earth avoids a Tunguska event that will be optimum – but satellites and space platforms could see the damage.
Sometimes the universe acts so powerfully that no human response could counter it.
Fear of cataclysm often numbs people, and when you report the potential for cataclysm it is often met with the critique that it is fear mongering.
However, it is no different than reporting of the doom that is temperature drops into the subzero range and calling it global warming.
Any warning can either render the fearful into trembling disorientation – or it can make them inert.
It should be a wakeup call and an impetus to know your odds of having a space rock come down over a heavily populated area.
The chances, of course, are slim but it doesn’t mean that an area of the ocean could see a direct hit or even a forested area similar to Tunguska.
I must admit though, no disaster scenario more challenges human hopes to overcome nature’s forces than the sudden and unpredicted strike of a giant asteroid.
After all, they are dark objects traveling through space have the potential to do us all in.
Sixty-five million years ago an enormous rock wiped out the dinosaurs. If a dino-apocalypse can happen, so too can a homo-apocalypse.
It’s always a sigh of relief when we dodge a bullet especially a bullet that can wipe out our civilization.
This minuscule possibility becomes all the more unnerving because increasingly scientists know how much they don’t know.
In recent years, efforts to monitor so-called near-earth objects (NEOs) have produced an impressive tally of the number, size, and trajectory of asteroids in our solar system. Researchers now envision scenarios for bumping menacing space debris out of earth’s way.
NASA has recently announced it would give funds to a California-based 3D printing company for finding ways to turn asteroids into giant, autonomous spacecrafts – not only would they be able to move them using this technology but they can be converted into outposts where new colonies can thrive.
Now, the unique thing is that we have discussed with Richard C. Hoagland the prospects of both Oumuamua and Ultima Thule being ancient alien spacecraft.
Could it be that what Hoagland said about both so-called space rocks being spaceships is just a clue as to what is being cooked up by NASA?
It is also interesting to note that this new program proposed by NASA is being called RAMA.
RAMA is an acronym for Reconstituting Asteroids into Mechanical Automata and it could one day enable space colonization by helping make off-Earth manufacturing efficient and economically viable. The company plans to use 3D printing to turn the asteroids into self-flying vehicles by 2030.
The concept received funding through NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which will provide $100,000 for feasibility studies.
When the interstellar space rock ‘Oumuamua’ was discovered. There was speculation about the possibility that the object was an alien spaceship.
Before its official name was decided upon, the name Rama was put forward – a reference to the alien spacecraft discovered under similar circumstances in Arthur C. Clarke’s 1973 science fiction novel, Rendezvous with Rama.
The story deals with scientists seeing an interstellar object, at first they think it is an asteroid and eventually, they find that it is an ancient space ship.
The new RAMA project will begin sending what are called seed craft into space to harvest material from the space rocks, and then use this feedstock to construct propulsion, navigation, energy-storage and other key systems onsite with the aid of 3D printing and other technologies.
Thus transformed into autonomous spacecraft, the asteroids could be programmed to fly to a mining station in Earth-moon space, or anywhere else they’re needed.
They can also be fitted with propulsion systems that could push an asteroid away from a dangerous approach to the earth.
Now again, collisions with big rocks for the moment seems unlikely and again the February 1st, the due date for an incoming rock was an estimation based on a slim possibility.
However, there is also little confidence that we would see a big one coming. In April 2018, for instance, an undetected asteroid possibly as wide as 360 feet passed by the planet at a distance closer than the moon.
Knowing that a near-earth object could destroy everything demands patience and humility as much as urgency and confidence about the ability of science and technology to respond.