Strange Happenings On Planet Earth Today

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A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia’s Chelyabinsk region , photo from UniverseToday

Central Russia Hit With Meteorites

Thanks to the popularity of dashboard cams the internet is abuzz with images and video footage of the meteor(s) that exploded high in the atmosphere near the city of Chelyabinsk, which is located in the Ural Mountains of Russia. According to news reports about a 1,000 people were treated for injuries, mostly from flying glass. Fortunately, no one was killed and none of the injuries were life-threatening.  The meteor strike occurred just hours before asteroid da14 passed close to the earth’s surface.

The Official Version

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Hole in ice caused by meteorite, from CNN

NASA asteroid expert Don Yeomans, head of the agency’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, was quoted as saying that the event in Russia was not linked to the close flyby of the large asteroid that occurred later on in the same day. Yeoman’s scientific opinion was confirmed by many other scientists including Richard Binzel of MIT, Paul Chodas of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif, Bill Cooke of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. as well as experts at the European Space Agency.

The Crackpots

Not everybody agreed with the scientific experts, including one Russian official named Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who said the explosion was the United States testing out a new nuclear device. Although the explosion had the force much greater than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, it lacked the severe damage because the meteor blew up many miles above the surface of the earth.

The Minority Dissenters

Not everybody believed that the meteor (or meteors) that exploded in Russia were unrelated to the asteroid flyby. For there appeared to be a small cadre of scientists that believed the meteors exploding above Russia were in some way related to the large asteroid that passed by the earth much later in the same day. On CBS, Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York, stated that asteroids often occur in swarms or “showers” and so the meteors that passed over Russia may have some connection to the larger asteroid.

Other scientists who share similar views include Tatiana Bordovitsina, an astronomy professor at Tomsk State University in western Siberia, Curtin University asteroid expert Phil Bland of Australia and Professor Ian Crawford of Birkbeck University, who said;  “if meteorites were traveling with the asteroid, they would be several hours ahead of it.”

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LL Ori and the Orion Nebula
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team

Scientific Reality

I think that this difference in viewpoints among scientists is fascinating and that ultimately the minority view that the two events are related will prevail. History is just full of too many instances where the majority scientific opinion has been proven more, for me to think otherwise. No matter how this story turns stay in touch for the debate could be very interesting and entertaining.

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Merry Christmas In Eastern Europe & My New Year’s Resolutions

Christmas In Russia
Giant Christmas Tree In Moscow, from Flickr, photo by loscuadernosdejulia

Orthodox Christmas Not everybody in the world celebrates Christmas on the 25th of December. The most notable exceptions are the Orthodox churches of Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Moldovia, Montenegro and Serbia, along with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria  and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating today.

Christmas In St. Petersburg
Christmas In St. Petersburg, Russia, photo from Flickr by Andywon

My New Year’s Resolutions For Writers

Since Christmas is finally coming to an end and the chilling cold weather of January is about to descend on us, perhaps it is time for all dedicated writers to snuggle up next to the fire and start putting pen to paper. We may be glad we did, when winter turns to spring and our literary endeavors are rewarded with publication credits and movie rights……… Just dreaming, but here are my ten resolutions anyway.

The Resolutions

1. Post more often at Yeyeright (This resolution probably won’t last through the month of January, but it’s worth a try anyway)

2. Say Good-bye to the content market (presently, I have content available at Demand Studios, Hub Pages, Associated Content and Helium. Although I now receive only monthly royalties, Demand Studios has been the only one that was worthwhile, and even that was close to marginal)

3. Attend at least one writers conference    (Several years ago I attended the Grub Street conference in Boston and I enjoyed it very much. I think it’s about time I try another conference)

4. Finish my uncompleted novel (It’s been uncompleted for several years)

5. Finish my uncompleted screenplay (Screenplays are much easier to finish than a novel, but very difficult to sell. Actually, this is the one resolution I might skip.)

6. Party more (This might be the most important resolution for any writer, no matter what his or her genre may be)

7. Join a writer’s group maybe ????????(I have never been much on writer’s groups and don’t think 2013 will change that.)

8. Travel to Europe (I have been there twice already. Another visit may be in order.)

9. Submit ideas, articles and short fiction to more markets.

10. Sleep-in more often (This resolution goes hand-in-hand with resolution #6)

So there you go with my New Year’s Resolutions. Let me know what resolutions you intend to make and actually keep.

Orion Nebula
Orion Nebula: The Hubble View
Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (STScI/ESA) et al.

Help Yeyeright Keep His New Year Resolutions