Libyan Desert Glass
is strewn over an area of hundreds of square kilometers in the Great Sand Sea, a region desolate even by the high standards of the Sahara. As one account of a recent trip to acquire Libyan Desert Glass
puts it: "Out there, death sits on your shoulder like a vulture." While some would have you believe that Libyan Desert Glass is evidence of ancient atomic warfare, it is probably evidence
of a massive meteorite or comet explosion nearly thirty million years ago
, similar to Tunguska, but much bigger. The stone age Aterian peoples made tools
from it, but the remoteness and inhospitality of the Great Sand Sea has ensured that until recent times it has mostly been undisturbed. However, a breast ornament buried in Tutankhamen's tomb
has a scarab made from Libyan Desert Glass, the only piece made of the material to have been found by Egyptologists, and how Tutankhamen's jewelers acquired it has remained a mystery
. Until now
posted by Kattullus
on Dec 8, 2011 -
has an interesting article
about the high probability of "space rocks" hitting the earth, possibly as high as a 1 in 10 chance of a major catastrophe each century. Not a new theme, but the article has some new developments suggesting it is more common than once thought. Includes a 10 minute video.
posted by stbalbach
on May 30, 2008 -
--and promise to as brighter or brighter than last year:
NASA scientists' predictions for the 2002 Leonid meteor storm.
Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the Moon will be full when the storm begins on Nov. 19th. Glaring moonlight will completely overwhelm many faint shooting stars. Indeed, I often hear that the Moon is going to "ruin the show."
We shall see.
posted by y2karl
on Nov 16, 2002 -
Perseid Meteor Shower-(Peaks Sunday & Monday)
"The August Perseids are among the strongest of the readily observed annual meteor showers, and at maximum activity can yield 50 or 60 meteors per hour. However, observers with exceptional sky conditions often record even larger numbers. Also, during an overnight watch, the Perseids are capable of producing a number of bright, flaring and fragmenting meteors, which leave fine trains in their wake."
posted by DailyBread
on Aug 12, 2002 -
Leonid Meteor Shower
- Hot or Not? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime event, as was billed, or did you just find yourself standing out in the cold and looking straight up? I'm on my way outside right now to shiver & stare.
posted by kokogiak
on Nov 18, 2001 -