On the evening of February 9th, 1913, one of the greatest meteoric events of the modern era occurred when tens of millions of people witnessed dozens of brilliant meteors moving slowly across the sky. Beginning somewhere in western Canada and extending all the way to the Atlantic Ocean just east of Brazil, the meteors followed one after another on an almost identical flight path and extended from horizon to horizon, with individual ones being visible for more than 30 seconds. The entire procession took five full minutes to travel all the way across the sky.
Yesterday, I wrote about the Tunguska Event. Today, it happened again. In Russia. What in the name of Lincoln’s beard is going on???
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Instead of posting about how this day brings people together blah blah commercialization blah blah The Notebook, I though’t I’d address another meeting of heavenly bodies – and those are the Earth and asteroid 2012 DA14. As you may have seen in the news this asteroid will set a record for near-misses after it passes within 15,000 miles of Earth. This obviously begs the question, “what if it hit us”? As it turns out, we experienced something which caused an effect similar to what would happen in 2012 DA14 hit us: it happened near the Tunguska River in Siberia in 1908.
Orbiting the sixth planet in our solar system is a lovely little chunk of rock and gas known as Titan. As the largest of Saturn’s 62 moons, Titan has been somewhat of a known quantity for quite a while; in fact, it was discovered in 1655 and is the second-largest moon in our solar system. But it was only recently that we were able to look beyond its dense atmosphere and see what lies beneath – and what lies beneath is, I daresay, awesome.
This is part five of a series by *AT* contributor Emily Thomas. When we think about people whose lives we would like to closely emulate, more often than not we think of people who have accomplished great things and led successful lives. However, not everyone who is on top has experienced success after success, and some of the most memorable people in history have faced great obstacles to reach their full potential. Not only is this list informative, but it serves as a great self-esteem booster for any time you are feeling as though you can’t strive to become the next Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, or Steve Jobs.
Not very fast though – only at a rate of about 3.8 cm per year. Still, this is pretty quick in astronomical terms. But how do we know this? Basically, we put a big reflector on the moon during the Apollo missions, and now we shoot giant lasers at it. We figure out the distance using the following formula:
Distance = (Speed of light × Time taken for light to reflect) / 2.
And voila! The fact that the moon gets .000001% further away every year isn’t particularly worrying at this point, but over millions of years it will definitely have an effect on tidal forces that are caused in part by the moon.
Created by Oregon photographer John Eklund, this amazing time lapse of the Pacific Northwest was composed from approximately 260,000 individual photographs – and beautifully sums up why I never want to live anywhere else.