More on today’s Russian meteorite: Largest in a century.
My earlier skepticism appears incorrect. This impact actually happened.
Note the article’s sense of outrage and panic that we aren’t looking for these types of rocks:
Although a network of telescopes watches for asteroids that might strike Earth, it is geared towards spotting larger objects — between 100 metres and a kilometre in size. “Objects like that are nearly impossible to see until a day or two before impact,” says Timothy Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which tracks asteroids and small bodies. So far as he knows, he says, his centre also failed to spot the approaching rock.
Yet, today’s impact actually illustrates the wisdom of excluding this kind of small asteroid from searches. They aren’t big enough to do serious harm, and trying to find them would hamper searches for larger asteroids that do pose a serious risk.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon
, Barnes & Noble
, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit
And if you buy it from ebookit
you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.