Feb 232009
Lulin is Coming

Lulin is Coming

There sure seems to be a lot of stuff happening out there in Outer Space (cue echo) lately.  Enough to make one prone to conspiracy theories and alternative views on reality very excited.

On Feb 11th it was announced that a ‘defunct’ Russian military satellite collided with an Iridium communications satellite which is operated by a company owned by the US Department of Defense for satellite telephone service. Both craft were completely destroyed, scattering two orbiting clouds of debris in critical areas of other orbiting craft, including the Hubble Space Telescope, which the Shuttle was poised to visit in May.

space.com: US Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision

On February 15th reports from all over Texas told of a huge fireball streaking through the sky, creating sonic booms. The FAA initially stated it could be debris from the satellite collision but they rescinded that statement later in the day. Hmm.

space.com: Texas Fireball Likely Caused by Meteor, Not Satellite Debris

Then again on the 17th, this time over Kentucky. Again, some reports that it was satellite debris, then reports that it wasn’t.

Courier Press: Lights in sky over Kentucky called meteors, not satellite debris

Now NASA has canceled the Shuttle launch and hasn’t set a new date yet, at least partly due to the fears of the danger of working on Hubble with all that crap speeding around.

Science News: Brief update on Hubble and debris

And something never seen before. A green comet, not discovered until July 2007, is coming our way enveloped in a green ball of gas the size of Jupiter! It will pass within less than half the distance from the Earth to the sun! It will be closer than the sun, this comet cloud the size of Jupiter! Run for you lives! (Take binoculars, it’s gonna look really cool on Tuesday morning before dawn. Set your clocks).

NASA: Green Comet Approaches Earth

And now, this just in, the big one!  Largest burst of energy ever seen, greater than 9,000 exploding suns.  From so far away it must have happened near the beginning of the universe.  And astronomers don’t understand the timing of aspects of the energy burst, meaning it doesn’t fit current models.  Hmm.  Model revision forthcoming. And possibly, a third explanation for all the crap hitting the Earth lately?

PA: Record Radiation Blast Detected

Is this a great time to be a space nut with an active imagination, or what!