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Fireballs!

February 15, 2013

Rheanna Sand

 

Seeing the video of the meteorite breaking up over Siberian skies reminds me of the day I saw the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle with my own eyes. It was 2008 and I was driving with a friend in my hometown, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and from the passenger seat a bright green light caught my eye. At first I thought someone had ingited a roman candle nearby, because that's the only thing I had ever seen that shape and colour. But then I realized it was much too high to be a firework, and it was coming toward us fast - too quickly to be an airplane.

 

The next thoughts that flashed into my mind were "ALIENS" and then "MISSILE" - I suppose my love of science fiction trumps realism - and by that time I had already said "What the (bleep) IS that??" about five times, louder and more emphatic each time. As I gripped the dashboard and strained my neck to see it, the light hurtled toward the ground, flashing as it descended, and it looked to have landed so close to us that my friend and I naively went driving down nearby residential streets to try and find the object. I imagined that whatever it hit would have been obliterated. We didn't find the object, but that's because it actually landed in Saskatchewan, a whole province over. Which explains why the whole event was eerily silent.

 

 

Holycrap this was scary!

 

 

 

Luckily, Saskatchewan, like Alberta, is mostly devoid of humans, and no one was injured when it landed. The news and images coming from Russia show how dangerous meteorites can be if they are big enough and strike in populated areas. The sonic booms and resulting shock waves shattered windows and injured hundreds, if not thousands of residents. 

 

All this on a day that asteroid 2012 DA14 is slated to fly so close to Earth, it will pass between us and some communications satellites. But fear not, the two events are completely unrelated - just a cruel coincidence to set the doomsday folks afrenzy.

 

BE HEARD

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