A Massive Meteor Hit Earth Last Year; Almost No One Noticed
A massive meteor explosion over the Bering Sea three months ago went completely unnoticed until just now, when scientists reviewed low-frequency acoustic wave data picked up by global recording stations. The 32-foot diameter meteor exploded on Dec. 18, releasing 173 kilotons of energy – about 10 times that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
This latest meteor explosion was the second largest impact in the past 30 years, coming in behind the Chelyabinsk meteor of 2013 which caused a number of injuries and was widely captured on video.
But unlike Chelyabinsk, this recent explosion took three months to be detected by a scientist studying infrasound data, which is inaudible to humans, but recorded by 16 monitoring stations around the world. The explosion is even being compared to the Tunguska event of 1908, during which a meteorite leveled an area of Siberia that included somewhere in the range of 80 million trees.
The explosion occurred in an incredibly remote area of the planet over an ocean where, luckily, no air traffic was passing through at that moment. But the fact that meteors this size with devastating potential, can enter the atmosphere almost undetected is a little unsettling.
While it wasn’t witnessed or officially recognized until now, footage from a Japanese weather satellite happened to capture an image of the explosion as it entered the atmosphere between Russia and Alaska.
Scientists often refer to a meteorite this size as a city-buster due to its potential to level an entire city, and bolides this size tend to enter our atmosphere a few times per century.
Reassuringly, most of the larger asteroids floating in our general vicinity have been mapped out and are regularly monitored by scientists at various observatories – even if we don’t necessarily have the means to deflect them if they were on a crash course with Earth.
But these mid-size rocks are particularly troubling, especially as man-made space debris can lead to collisions and changes in trajectory.
The technology and cataloging of 90 percent of all near-Earth asteroids larger than 450 feet in diameter is underway, but may take several decades. But these are only the rare nation-busters that would wipe out an entire country; mapping out all of the smaller city-busters is something that hasn’t really been considered, if it’s even possible.
Seems like it might be time someone builds a machine learning algorithm to do that for us.
For more on near-miss asteroids check out this episode of Beyond Belief with Dan Durda:
The Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century is This Week
The longest partial lunar eclipse is this week. What can we learn from the ancients about this celestial transitional event?
In the early morning hours of November 19, the moon will be in partial eclipse. NASA says the moon will slip behind the Earth’s shadow for about two and a half hours, and weather permitting, a huge swatch of the planet will be able to see at least some of the eclipse. The moon, as well as other celestial bodies, have played a big role in the lives of ancient peoples, mystics, and shamans.
Jack Cary, researcher and author of “Paranormal Planet,” said about the history and significance of the eclipse, “In ancient times, eclipses were always seen as an omen, whether it be good or bad. As the sun or the moon becomes shaded over, you’re seeing a connection both of the feminine and the masculine qualities of existence, and because of that it was seen as a holy union.”
What is the connection between the moon and divine feminine energy throughout history?
“The moon itself has always been seen as the goddess of the sky, and because of that all goddesses that were worshipped around the world in ancient civilizations all had this symbolism of the moon itself,” Cary said.
What did the ancient people know about the planets that we should remember now?