November 23, 2008
Moment of Impact
image by Panagiotis Nikolakako, Sparta, Greece
The huge rocky asteroid has just made contact with the Moon. In milliseconds shock waves will travel into the Moon and the asteroid, beginning the process that will catastrophically destroy both bodies. Fragmental debris will rain down upon Earth, wiping out most life, and some pieces will have high enough velocities to escape the Earth-Moon system to spread throughout the inner solar system, ultimately colliding with all the inner planets and the Sun. A huge rocky ring of rubble will circle the Earth, creating a permanent band of shadowing that will oscillate between 23° N and S.
Note: Paul Spudis reports that the videos of the lectures associated with the Moon 101 course are now online. Unfortunately, they only play on PCs; Mac users will have to downgrade their system by using the PC emulation mode.
Canon 400 d = ED 80, iso 100, 1/200 sec
Yesterday's LPOD: A Dome On the Limb
Tomorrow's LPOD: Marius & Its Hills