Shooting Stars and Mass Extinctions

A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body traveling through space. It becomes a meteor aka shooting star or falling star when it enters the Earths atmosphere, heats up, and disintegrates in a blaze of glory due to the friction it incurs as it collides with air particles. If it doesn’t completely disintegrate and a portion of it makes it to the ground it becomes a meteorite. As for asteroids they are basically giant meteoroids which are also known as minor planets or planetoids.

According to NASA: “Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere and cause little or no damage. If a rocky meteoroid larger than 25 meters but smaller than one kilometer were to hit Earth, it would likely cause local damage to the impact area. We believe anything larger than one to two kilometers could have worldwide effects.” Also according to NASA there are well over 10,000 known near-Earth asteroids over the size of 30 meters with nearly 900 of them larger than one kilometer.

Maybe we should take this potentially catastrophic threat a little more seriously and use some of the money we allow our governments to spend on weapons on ways to detect and if needed divert near-Earth asteroids. We don’t need another space rock coming down and setting off the next mass extinction event as we humans have already proven that we’re perfectly capable of causing mass extinction events on our own and each of us needs to remember that when we decide what to eat, what to buy, how to travel, and how to live in general.

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Here

Don’t Jump!

I was at the beach yesterday and despite the warning sign I saw some people thinking about jumping into the water. I told them it wouldn’t be a good idea to jump from a 6 meter high cliff into 2 meters of water. I’ve jumped from this cliff and had done so about a week earlier however that was at high tide and just after the the moon was lined up with the sun as it is during a new moon or a full moon.

To learn about high tide, low tide, spring tides, neap tides, and how to better predict them check out this website by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.

Predicting the Tides: Webpage

Lesson on Tides: Slideshow or Video

It helps to know where exactly the moon is at.

P.S. I bet Professor Splash and Dana Kunze could have done it safely.


Nature: Respect and Protect