Thursday, February 16, 2006

Exploding fireballs in the sky

Run for your lives


While trying to find something that was actually work related, I found this incredibly neat simulator of Near Earth Objects, which is a soothing way of describing orbiting stones that could smash into the earth and destroy life as we know it. It appears that we're still in luck for the next 30 years or so.

The simulator requires that java applets be enabled. It works in Firefox 1.5 and IE 6. The simulation can simply be played, watching the future bomblets zoom around the solar system along with our semi-cherished home, Earth, until they nearly run into each other. You can also change the point of view using the sliders on the right and bottom of the graph, and zoom in and out. It's very nicely done.



(Photos of Comet Hyakutake by John Chumack at GalacticImages.com. There is a terrific gallery of astronomy photos there, all of which are for sale. No affiliation.)

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