My Novels

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

I'm in a better mood today, though still not feeling great. It's difficult to remain depressed during spring, and we certainly are having an early spring here. The world is coming alive, brilliant green and yellow colors painting the yards, the what sometimes looks unsightly during grim, drab winter months is camouflaged by the budding birth of renewel.

Had a wonderful bike ride this morning, droplets of the misty morning making it damp and cool. We've been having a bit of fog early, and it makes for a nice ride in the park. More of a misty dampness than deep fog, which usually burns off by noon when the sun comes out.

I actually am reading a novel, and believe I'll make it through this one {Lovers & Liars, by Sally Beauman). I loved her novel, "Destiny" and thought I'd give this one a try. Lately I just can't seem to get involved in a novel, and put it down after the first chapter or so. But this one seems to be holding my interest, and it would be good for me if I could immerse myself in a fictional world again.

And now for a link/excerpt to an article about a near-miss of an asteroid that wasn't even discovered until it had whizzed by earth!

Whew! Stealth asteroid nearly blindsides Earth

By Richard Stenger

(CNN) -- A sizable asteroid zipped near our planet this month without anyone noticing because it traveled through an astronomical blind spot, scientists said.

The space boulder passed Earth within 288,000 miles (461,000 kilometers) -- or 1.2 times the distance to the moon -- on March 8, but since it came from the direction of the sun, scientists did not observe it until four days later.

The object, slightly larger than one that flattened a vast expanse of Siberia in 1908, was one of the 10 closest known asteroids to approach Earth, astronomers said.

"Asteroid 2002 EM7 took us by surprise. It is yet another reminder of the general impact hazard we face," said Benny Peiser, a European scientist who monitors the threat of Earth-asteroid collisions.

If it pierced the atmosphere, the approximately 70-meter-long rock could have disintegrated and unleashed the energy equivalent of a 4-megaton nuclear bomb, researchers said.

"If it were over a populated area, like Atlanta, it would have basically flattened it," said Gareth Williams, associate director of the International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The rock is considerably smaller than dozens of potential planet killers 1-kilometer in size or larger that lurk in the inner solar system.


Oddly enough, there was another asteroid that also missed earth just a couple months ago...about the same distance, I think. Could this be a new pattern? If so, bend over and kiss your a___ goodbye because sooner or later, one is going to hit us!

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