The Sky Is Falling!

If any fable could sum up what folly unwarranted fears given too much attention can do it's the story of Chicken Little. Good intentions I suppose but a lesson there to be learned for sure. Unless the effort is based on reality any good intention is pointless. Like catching a 40 yard touchdown pass out of bounds. A lot of wasted exertion and effort for something profitless. If not... as the story goes, to one's doom. Not familiar with the story? It goes like this...

Chicken Little likes to take walks in the forest. One day while she is walking an acorn falls from a tree, and hits the top of her little head. "My, oh, my, the sky is falling. I must run and tell the lion about it," says Chicken Little and begins to run. She runs and runs. By and by she meets the hen. "Where are you going?" asks the hen. "Oh, Henny Penny, the sky is falling and I am going to the lion to tell him about it." "How do you know it?" asks Henny Penny. It hit me on the head, so I know it must be so," says Chicken Little. "Let me go with you!" says Henny Penny. "Run, run!" So the two run and run until they meet Ducky Lucky. "The sky is falling," says Henny Penny. "We are going to the lion to tell him about it." "How do you know that?" asks Ducky Lucky. "It hit Chicken Little on the head," says Henny Penny."May I come with you?" asks Ducky Lucky. "Come," says Henny Penny, "Run, run!" So all three of them run on and on until they meet Foxy Loxy. "Where are you going?" asks Foxy Loxy. "The sky is falling and we are going to the lion to tell him about it," says Ducky Lucky. "Do you know where he lives?" asks the fox. "I don't," says Chicken Little. I don't," says Henny Penny. "I don't," says Ducky Lucky. "I do," says Foxy Loxy. "Come with me and I can show you the way." He walks on and on until he comes to his den. "Come right in,"  says Foxy Loxy. They all go in, but they are never, ever seen again.

Sucks for them, huh?! You let fear take ya too far and disaster is just up ahead waiting to ambush ya! And there is sooo much stuff out there to take you down a wrong path these days. Whether it's Chinese troops massing in Mexico for an invasion, global warming or the sky is falling or whatever! It is ALWAYS best to check the available facts keeping your emotions in check lest they take you to that magical kingdom of the foolish where one's own feelings rule and knowledge is founded only on one's own personal  existence and one's own private perceptions...  which trumps all. Although the population has all but exceeded its capacity, it seems no matter in our day and time to those that are stampeding to get in! I bring these matters up as... like you maybe, I do want to be aware of what's going on around me. These are strange days, to say the least... as the human race gets herded towards one world government and it does take a sharp eye and a steady hand to navigate the cross currents of information available to us today. There are many out there in the wilderness we call the world wide web publishing material to drum up sensationalism and attract attention to themselves and there are many concerned citizens intending well but passing on information that just isn't true. “Many of us are hard-wired to be paranoid about things falling from the sky,” wrote an editorialist in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Cold rain, rocks dropped by delinquents from highway overpasses and air show accidents freak us out. They awaken in us that primal fear that thunderbolts were flung from heaven.” We... as sons and daughters of God, citizens of His kingdom as well as rational human adults everywhere have a responsibility to not spread misinformation that would cause another to go down a wrong path. With that in mind (and tongue in cheek!)... THE SKY'S ABOUT TO FALL ON OUR HEADS!!!

It's been on the news lately that NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is headed back to earth. Uncontrolled. UARS was launched in 1991 by the Space Shuttle Discovery. It was 35 feet long, 15 feet in diameter, weighs 13,000 pounds, and carried 10 instruments. UARS orbited at an altitude of 375 miles with an orbital inclination of 57 degrees. Designed to operate for three years, it was officially decommissioned on Dec. 14, 2005. It's orbit decaying ever since and has been so out of control NASA hasn't been able to really determine where it will land but expects 26 large pieces of the satellite (the heaviest about 330 pounds) to survive all the way down and hit the surface of the planet. The debris is expected to stretch along a 500-mile path. At the time of this writing NASA has reported it came down over the Northern Pacific Ocean just off the U.S. West Coast between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. EDT Sept. 24. No debris field has been found as yet. This reentry certainly was not given as much attention as when SkyLab came down on July 11, 1979Skylab was much bigger — about the size of a house — while the UARS is more along the lines of a city bus. When bits of Skylab fell in western Australia, no one was injured but the local authorities did fine NASA $400 for littering. 

Whew! OK... so we dodged that one! Now... how about traffic in our solar system? Although there isn't nearly as much debris flying around in our solar system as when the solar system was younger, there is still a lot of our solar system-building "left overs" out there. And we've had some near misses recently with what is termed as "Near Earth Objects" (NEOs). Such as asteroid 2009 BD. This 23-foot (7 meter) space rock came within about 215,000 miles (346,000 km) of Earth at around 8:51 pm EDT on June 2 of this year. And there was 2009 DD45 200' wide rock that missed our planet by 40,000 miles (6,440 km) on March 2, 2009. Forty thousand miles may sound like a lot, but it's only about one-seventh of the way to the moon, and less than twice as far out as many telecommunications satellites. The moon's average distance from us is about 239,000 miles (385,000km). Two Australian astronomers discovered that one just 3 days before it passed by us the "first" time. Two asteroids several meters in diameter and in unrelated orbits passed within the moon's distance of Earth on September 8, 2010. May as well mention 2009 BD81. Listed as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) with several possible Earth impact risks after 2042." -  The nearest near miss on record? Surprisingly maybe but it occurred February 4, 2011. CQ1, a one "... meter-size rock flew over the Pacific at an altitude of about 5,500 kilometers (3,420 miles) — about one-seventieth the distance between Earth and the moon and well below the orbit of some high-flying satellites." - Most recently we've had the comet Elenin swing into our solar back yard. The Earth is expected to pass through the comets "tail" November 2... in less than two months. And... as shown in this week's Recommended Video clip below, it ain't alone up there! This is the best video I was able to find showing the recent solar system traffic. If ya like AC/DC ya might just enjoy the clip even more! If you're not an AC/DC fan... well, I didn't embed the music!

There is some speculation about the comet Elenin. A lot of 2012 doomsayers are busy with this one too. The comet itself is relatively very small (2 - 3 miles or 3 -5 km wide) and cannot cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on Earth. We are not going to have a 3 day solar eclipse. Elenin will pass about 22 million miles (35 million kilometers) from Earth during its closest approach on Oct. 16, 2011. Images in print  and on a the web of a "second sun" is most likely lense glare. I found one Australian Astronomer/Blogger that has been debunking a lot of this web circulated misinformation and can be seen here. The one thing I don't get is all the maps I've seen of the path of this comet shows angled course adjustments. Heavenly bodies don't move like that unless they've been physically hit by something. Something really strange about that. But... as science has noted the comet itself is diminishing rapidly as it took a hit from a solar flare on August 19. Or! Is it some cleverly disguised ET vessel?! Hmmm?!

Recommended Video:  Recent Solar System traffic 5:43

Related Links
Asteroid 2009 BD
NASA's Asteroid Watch
Grilled Chicken Recipes
NASA's NEO Watch Program
Gotta Watch: The Sky Is Falling - 3 CNN videos
NASA's Q&A About the comet Elenin
Worse Space Debris Events Of All Time
NASA Speaks On Elenin, 2012 And Nibiru - video

- Published 09/24/2011