Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Dead Man's Revenge
Last month the University of Arizona predicted that an asteroid would collide with Earth, or more accurately with the Earth's atmosphere, on October 7. It did. This was the first time an asteroid on a collision course with Earth has been spotted before it entered our atmosphere. Bizarrely, in our media-saturated world, there was no footage of what must have been a huge fireball as it burned up in our atmosphere, over the Sudan in Africa. What was captured on video (a frame of which is shown above) was the aftermath: the windblown trail of the asteroid after it burned up.
The interesting bit about this image is that the trail shown in the picture is glowing. That's not reflected sunlight making the trail glow, it's light emitted by the trail itself. Cool, eh? These have been spotted before - they're called "persistent trains" - but no one knows exactly what causes them. Something to do with the ionized gas left in the wake of the asteroid. They come in all sorts of pretty colors too!
The photo is from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day. It's a great way to start your morning!
Remember the Dead Man's beer? Remember the mystery beer we found amid the cases, with the odd-sized bottle and no label?
We opened it and tried it last weekend. Three words: nasty, nasty, nasty. Daisy called it right. It was home-brewed beer gone very, very bad.