December 30th, 2008

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

It Burns!

A couple of hours ago I happened to be on the back porch when a slow, bright meteor passed, headed for Nevada. It was quite spectacular, dragging a long tail of white light from which sparks flew. I didn't see it burn out, because it vanished behind the treetops still blazing. I suppose some bits of it might have thwacked down out in the desert, where they will be relatively unlikely to be washed away by rain. The desert is full of meteorites. Maybe someday it will be found by some meteorite hunter.

But then maybe not, if Yellowstone Caldera is on the verge of a terminal event. More likely, this time it won't produce anything worse than a massive earthquake that will wipe out Billings, Montana. You know, the place LJ moved its servers last month (because San Francisco was so earthquake-prone.) Anyway, I'm glad I got to see the meteor before the world ended.

In fact, if the end holds off a few more days, I might get to see more. This year's Quadrantid meteor shower could be a good one. It will be dark here, since the moon will already be down before the peak comes, early in the morning of January 3, but rain is forecast for Friday, so it might still be cloudy early Saturday. Hope not.

Oh, head got yanked successfully this afternoon. Finally.