Friday, February 15, 2013
"Spell it! S-P...AACE. Space. Space!"
Watching the video footage of the meteorite explosion in Russia brought back a lot of odd feelings for me. When I was a kid, I was a space nut. Big time. Had the happy meal toys to prove it. Mostly because, as a small child, learning about space and planets made me feel like there was so much more I needed to find out about the universe and with every knew fact, I was both excited and terrified by now having that knowledge. Because there's so much about space where it's just basically, "Well, THIS terrifying and deadly thing could happen at any moment... but it hasn't happened yet so we're not going to worry about that except for maybe just watching to make sure nothing is coming our way."
I mean, tons of people in the Eastern Hemisphere were paying attention to the sky the past few days because they've been waiting to see the asteroid that was going to pass within 17,100 miles of Earth- a close shave for celestial bodies- during what would be night-time on that side of the planet (lucky dogs!). Yet this SUV-sized chunk of space dirt managed to make it through our atmosphere and cause a sonic boom that injured hundreds (the opposite of "lucky dogs"!) without much warning? SCARY!
I'm so sorry for all those that were damaged by this freak of nature thing.
But my inner ten year old has been awoken by this event and I feel the need to start sharing stories from my space-nerd childhood before I lose them. I have most likely already forgotten more space-related facts than I can ever learn (I used to do my college assignments with the Science Channel playing in the background, and all the programming at the time either fell into the category of "space" or "dinosaurs"- sometimes they'd combine the two and talk about the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.) so I better start making them remembered now.
When I started typing my stories down, I quickly realized that it was going to result in either a novella-length blog entry... or a series of smaller entries. So... stay tuned. And, yes, some of them are more sci-fi and aliens related than actually space exploration and science-based... but these are from my childhood and my imagination got in the way of hard facts quite frequently.
Part One will be up soon. In the meantime, I highly recommend reading Simon Clark's quick write-up of answers about the big important questions being asked in response to the Russian meteorite.