March 23rd National Near Miss Day

There are a lot of near misses in life, planes taking off and landing, cars going through an intersection, almost marrying the wrong person. I am not playing down all those things, in their own way they can be catastrophic. However, as bad as they can be for us individually there’s probably not much more that would affect the entire world more than an asteroid striking it.

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The chances of that happening are pretty low. The closest we ever came was back on September 27th, of 2003 when a smaller asteroid came within 54,700 miles of hitting earth. Another one in March of 2002 came within 288,000 miles but the one that is celebrated this day came on March 23rd, 1989 and came within 500,000 miles of striking earth.

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If the asteroid had hit Earth it could have caused a crater about the size of Washington D.C. Yes, there may have been a lot of deaths and destruction but it could have also knocked the Earth off it’s axis and caused even more damage to people even thousands of miles away. It could have even meant the end of the World.

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We are hit often by tiny meteorites, they cause a great deal of damage on thier own. But if a larger one hits us, and scientists believe it is only a matter of time until it happens, life would change forever, if it would even survive. These same scientists are working on ways to deflect the asteroid, laser it or who knows what, to change it’s course. It is a real threat, but one most of us can do little about.

We are only a small part of the universe. We need to understand that, and respect it.

How to celebrate – Check out all the asteroids that have nearly struck the earth. Get a summer home built on the moon in case we are hit. Go back to bed and forget about things you cannot change.

June 30th National Meteor Watch Day

If you love to sky watch, tonight you’ll have something to watch for. It’s National Meteor Watch Day. A meteor occurs when space matter comes in contact with the earth’s atmosphere and becomes incandescent as it burns up, hopefully before reaching the surface.

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The best time for watching meteors is actually in August when the Perseid Meteor Shower occurs.

But since they have put the holiday in June, you need to start watching them tonight! Te good thing, or the bad, as Deeda from Canada reports, a meteor exploded in the sky on June 30th, 1908 over Siberia. It tore down trees and knocked out people as far as forty miles away. That was a shower you didn’t want to take!

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Though we call them shooting stars, a meteor is not actually a star. It is space matter, mainly small rocks that have broken away from a planet or star. They hurl themselves through space, very few actually reaching earth.

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That’s why so often you find a “shower” as explosions occur and send dozens of these small rocks through space. Some are larger and actually do reach the earth’s surface. It is said that if a large enough one should hit the earth, it might tip the axis we spin on. Lets hope that that does not happen in any of our lifetimes.

How to celebrate – If the night is clear, sit outside tonight and watch for meteorites. Make sure you make a wish on the ones you see! For a better view, set up a telescope. Take a camera and film what you see.