Just as we were waiting for close pass of a large meteor today, another unexpected meteor exploded over Siberia, with a sonic boom that lead to breaking glass and injuries of close to a 1,000 people including 34 that had to be hospitalized. Given the love of dashboard-mounted cameras in Russia, there’s plenty of video out there showing the remarkable meteor trail, the explosion, and some of the damage. A good write-up with many of the videos can be found in the Atlantic Wire.
All of this is just a small – and very humbling – reminder that we live in a world much larger than just the Earth, that we are part of an incredibly dynamic universe. We’re struck by objects from space every day but our atmosphere protects us. What you often see (if you don’t live in a large brightly lit urban area) and what we refer to as “Shooting Stars” are really nothing more than pebble-sized rocks burning up in the upper atmosphere. So we walk around in our protective cocoon, consumed with our own agendas and challenges, taking for granted that all is well with the world.
But every now and then the universe gently reminds us with just the smallest whisper in our ear that our little world is not so little after all, that our protective bubble is really quite porus, nothing more than a thin veil between us and a cataclysmic event like the dinosaurs experienced. Of the many videos out there this morning, this is one of the best: