What I Get for Watching SciFi

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I was watching “Prophets of Science Fiction” today on the Science Channel (and a little “Doctor Who” on BBC America, not gonna lie), and musing on the progress of humanity over 100 years. I also thought about how much we do not know, how much we have no control over, and what that means for the daring and for the rest of us. After all, Russia just experienced a completely unexpected, and rather large, meteor near-impact. The scary part is that almost the exact same thing happened around 100 years ago, over the same country. And all of this while the world was preoccupied with tracking Apophis, which never came nearly so close, and is not expected to for the next several centuries. Even with all the panic and news about meteors, it is easy to forget that there are people who live in close proximity to these objects and must spend much time considering the dangers to themselves every day. *Image taken from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=51754

Space Junk

Isn’t it strange that,

tiny as a grain of sand,

space dust can rocket with

meteoric intensity

to rip through an astronaut’s

spacesuit?

The astronauts know this,

they’ve filmed the silent

flashbangs

of dust skipping through

the upper atmosphere,

leaving brief streams

of fiery matter.

 

Maybe shooting stars

are the deadliest bullets of them all.

Meteors are the buckshot of the universe.

Fragmental, hard to track,

changing the faces of moons and planets.

They devastate in their multiplicity.

Even the meteors have impacts,

cratered as asteroids

that give birth to these galactic missiles.

 

Which is worse?

To look up and see them

falling on you,

cushioned by atmosphere,

or to look around and see them

falling on every side,

pinging off of the thin metal hull

surrounding you and your little

breathable bubble of air,

which you share with the only

small pocket of humanity

occupying the next two hundred miles of buzzing space.

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