Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm back and Meteors~~~~

Hello Darklings,

I have returned from my weekend trip and feeling much, much better, Thank you Sage for your concern, and yes Wor Won Ton soup has a wonderful therapeutic effect----that and Hot Tea with honey and lemon and a stiff shot of Jack Daniels---Doyle’s idea.

I want to ask any of you who live in the S.F. Bay Area---Did you see the meteor the other night and hear the sonic boom??!!

I mean Darklings, how wonderfully frightening, exciting and just out-of-this-world!!!!

I and a couple of my friends had a chance to see it ---simply spectacular!!!!! And that is an inadequate word to describe it.

I’m including an article from our San Francisco Chronicle here ----“Start Praying” said one young man----I’m laughing at the thought.


Thursday Oct 18, 2012 2:14 PM PT

A streak, a boom, and now meteor debris?

by Ellen Huet

Updated 1:17 p.m., Thursday, October 18, 2012

(10-18) 13:15 PDT MARTINEZ -- A bright flash across the sky and a shaking boom awed Bay Area onlookers Wednesday evening, and one scientist says souvenirs of the phenomenon might be strewn in the hills around Martinez.

A meteor, perhaps the size of a small car when it hit the Earth's atmosphere, put on a spectacular lightshow at 7:45 p.m. that was visible throughout the Bay Area and elsewhere in Northern and Central California.

The accompanying noise was the meteor's sonic boom as it traveled faster than the speed of sound, said Jonathan Braidman, an astronomy instructor at Oakland's Chabot Space and Science Center.

"These meteors travel 25,000 miles per hour or more," Braidman said. "When they hit the atmosphere they slow down considerably and break up into tiny, glittering fragments."

And those meteorite fragments, Braidman said, could well be scattered throughout the East Bay hills near Martinez, ready to be picked up by anyone willing to put in the effort to track them down.

It won't be easy. Braidman said the pieces could be anywhere over hundreds of square miles, with the Martinez hills estimate based mostly on eyewitness accounts and a northward trajectory of the meteor.

Meteors burn through the Earth's atmosphere "all the time," Braidman said. But most of them shine in obscurity, streaking over the ocean or land where no one lives.

"For it to flash across a populated area like the Bay Area, it's pretty rare," he said. "What's special now is we have so many people collecting data, taking pictures, that it's possible to see it streaking over the sky and maybe find out where it landed. Before, we were never able to do that."

Some people who spotted the meteor had no idea what they were looking at, but they knew it was something unusual.

"It was a big, huge fireball," said Tyler Clark, 19, who spotted it near his home in Manteca. "It was huge - bigger than the moon. All I saw was tons of flames coming off of it, and the next thing I knew, it vanished."

Clark said the meteor was visible for several seconds and burned mostly white, with red and yellow flame-like tinges.

"I was scared, not gonna lie - I thought it hit us," he said. "I was waiting for something to happen. I told my friends, 'Better start praying.' "

Clark can rest easy. Meteorite fragments that reach land are usually small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, Braidman said.

Their value depends on whether they're made of metal or of a stonier material.

Anyone who finds something they think might be part of a meteorite can bring it to the Chabot center or to one of a number of universities to be tested.

Braidman said the meteor was unrelated to the upcoming Orionid meteor shower, which will peak this weekend as the Earth passes through the tail of Halley's comet.

The shooting stars that people spot during meteor showers are much smaller pieces of comet-tail dust burning up in the atmosphere, not large meteors like this one, Braidman said.

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Can you imagine Darklings having as a piece of jewelry a bit of meteor hanging around your neck, to remind you of how infinite and finite life can be??? I know I would like a piece.

So something else to add to my List of ‘things to do’ 1st. Go to a Library book sale this weekend and 2nd watch the Orionid meteor shower.

Later Darklings.

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