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View Full Version : Meteor Showers. Yes, the sky is falling.



Fraser
2006-Oct-30, 08:48 PM
Dress warmly, gather some friends and family, and head outside to watch sand burn in the upper atmosphere. There's nothing like a good meteor shower. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.astronomycast.com/solar-system/meteor-showers-yes-the-sky-is-falling/)

suitti
2006-Nov-20, 04:59 PM
OK, so it was cloudy here all weekend. No Leonids. The sky in SE Michigan *was* falling. Most people would call it snow.

Uhm. Meteors are not bright because mass is converted into energy in a nuclear fashion. It's simple kinetic energy being converted into heat. If something gets hot enough, it can emit visible photons. The Sun shines because the upper layers of the Sun are hot. One might be convinced that the Sun is just the right temperature for our eyes to detect it. But, really, the Sun was there first, and eyes evolved to detect it. Not only does the sand grain get hot, but lots of air around it gets hot, and can leave a visible trail.

Interestingly, it has been computed that a stationary rock, dropped onto a neutron star from an arbitrarily large distance, has it's potential energy converted to kinetic energy as it falls. When it hits the neutron star, the energy released exceeds the energy that would be released if it's entire mass were converted to energy.

My newest astronomical instrument is... electric socks. About $20 at a sporting goods store. Basically very thick, warm socks that heat mostly the toes. My tests so far suggest that with fully charged rechargable D cells (available at the grocery store), I don't even need to bring spare batteries. A charge seems to last 5 hours or so. Hand wash, hang dry.

Miketmbt
2007-Jan-04, 04:25 PM
If you were to witness a meteorite hit the ground and wanted to pick it up, would you need to be worried about radiation?

01101001
2007-Jan-04, 07:13 PM
If you were to witness a meteorite hit the ground and wanted to pick it up, would you need to be worried about radiation?

I wouldn't expect a meteorite to be pose any more radiation risk that any other rock you might pick up -- unless you're Superman and you have that Kryptonite radiation problem.

Meteoritical Society (http://www.meteoriticalsociety.org/simple_template.cfm?code=resources_infometeorites)


Contrary to the image sometimes given to them in movies and fiction, meteorites are generally no more radioactive than typical terrestrial rocks, and they do not glow or feel unusually warm to the touch. They are not poisonous and thus there is no danger in touching or even ingesting a piece of meteorite (the latter not, however, being recommended).

But, if I saw one land, I'd want to slap it into a sterile container as fast as I could, just in the slim chance that it had an origin, like Mars, where contamination would reduce its scientific value.

squid
2007-Jan-06, 03:40 AM
One of my friends just emailed me this link to an awesome meteor video.

http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/MyFox/pages/sidebar_video.jsp?&version=1&locale=EN-US&contentId=1961431

Can't help but laugh at the reporters though...

KingNor
2007-Jan-06, 03:13 PM
man those reporters need to be fired. "why does it fizzle, why's it do that? " "i dont know, the quadrent as they're called it looses its fire or something"

holy crap.

hhEb09'1
2007-Jan-06, 03:25 PM
One of my friends just emailed me this link to an awesome meteor video.

http://www.myfoxcolorado.com/myfox/MyFox/pages/sidebar_video.jsp?&version=1&locale=EN-US&contentId=1961431

Can't help but laugh at the reporters though...The text says that the video is of the breakup of space debris, so it's not even quadrantid (http://www.spaceweather.com/meteors/quadrantids/quadrantids.html) meteors (Heh, the reporter calls them "meteors from an extinct constellation" :) )

squid
2007-Jan-08, 10:26 PM
Sorry guys--just found out from the newspaper that those aren't meteors--its debris from a Russian rocket, launched from Kazakhstan that had just taken a French telescope into orbit on re-entry. It was supposed to hit the ocean but came down over Colorado and Wyoming. They haven't found mcuh debris that made it down, but there was a huge hole burnt in the snow in Wyoming near a highway that was closed due to weather that they think was from the debris.
So its not even a meteor, stupid reporters....