Better buy a hard hat then...
The regular and often-unspectacular Taurid meteor shower has a dangerous side, with Czech boffins warning it's a likely source of dangerous debris. Working at the Czech Academy of Sciences, the authors of this paper at Astronomy and Astrophysics (here at arXiv) analysed 144 fireballs observed in the 2015 Taurid shower, and say …
The Quaternary extinction event was quite recent and while there are meany theories (including a comet strike), nobody actually knows why, approximately 11,000 years ago every large animals went extinct across North America.
We know that we have had very large meteor impacts in the past but for some reason we don't believe that it could ever happen again.
nobody actually knows why, approximately 11,000 years ago every large animals went extinct across North America
Sure they do: the arrival; of homo sapiens. As in Australia and Europe, our arrival was quickly followed by population crash and extinction of megafauna.
"Sure they do: the arrival; of homo sapiens. As in Australia and Europe, our arrival was quickly followed by population crash and extinction of megafauna."It was also contemporaneous with the Younger Dryas climate event and a possible impact by an extra-terrestrial impact. It's hard to envisage these two latter as non-contributing factors. Likely it was a perfect storm as they say...
I would suggest a little better approximation of the time frame as 12900- 11600 yrs ago. Whatever happened around 12900-12800 years ago depending on age dating marked then end of the North American megafauna as well as most of the humans of the time and brought on a period called the younger dryas Cooling. I highly recommend Graham Hancocks' 'Magicians of the Gods' chapters 3&4 as an eye opener on this subject. His and Randall Carlsons' Theory involves a or a series of comet fragment impacts that relate directly to the meteor steam discussed above.
That's the conventional theory - homo sapiens arrived ate all the large animals and then decided to switch to a healthy vegetarian diet once they had eaten all the meat. The problem is that there's no evidence to support it - homo sapiens was around for tens of thousands of years prior to the extinction and then, in one year, ate everything?
Fact is, nobody actually knows why, it's just a guess.
"homo sapiens arrived ate all the large animals and then decided to switch to a healthy vegetarian diet once they had eaten all the meat. The problem is that there's no evidence to support it - homo sapiens was around for tens of thousands of years prior to the extinction and then, in one year, ate everything?"
Here's what the evidence suggests:
"The late Pleistocene witnessed the extinction of 35 genera of North American mammals. The last appearance dates of 16 of these genera securely fall between 12,000 and 10,000 radiocarbon years ago (≈13,800–11,400 calendar years B.P.), although whether the absence of fossil occurrences for the remaining 19 genera from this time interval is the result of sampling error or temporally staggered extinctions is unclear. Analysis of the chronology of extinctions suggests that sampling error can explain the absence of terminal Pleistocene last appearance dates for the remaining 19 genera. The extinction chronology of North American Pleistocene mammals therefore can be characterized as a synchronous event that took place 12,000–10,000 radiocarbon years B.P. Results favor an extinction mechanism that is capable of wiping out up to 35 genera across a continent in a geologic instant."Emphasis mine.
A lot more than "just a guess".
That might be true, but as far as big rocks in space are concerned, all of humanity is playing peek-a-boo like a toddler : can't see it = not there. That is not good and it likely means that we will wake up to this threat only when half a continent has been erased from existence.
That will be a very expensive wake-up call and I approve any measure that will keep the funding going on this subject.
"(We all know which half I'm talking about - and it's not the ice-hockey-playing half.)"
Isn't just horrible when your children get mad at you, move out on their own, refuse to move back even when you try to kick down their door and force them to, then do BETTER than you ever thought of?
Isn't even more horrible when your nasty neighbors come calling and you have to beg your children to come back and protect you...Twice?
Greetings from the States! :)
You're clearly not treating this appropriately seriously. What we need to do is build a Dyson-sphere that is incidentally strong enough* to bounce any would-be illegal immigrants. Uh, sorry, space rock. It's ok, we'll still be able to launch outer space probes through it - we'll just build a hatch into it somewhere. No, of course it's NOT a back door! Spheres don't have a "back" side!
* maybe we should build it with a moat. With sharks and lasers. What? Look, there are some tiny animals that don't die in space, I saw it on TV - if they can do it, so can the sharks, they'll just have make an effort and breathe harder!
The regular and often-unspectacular Taurid meteor shower
I would like to object to The Register publishing fake news such as this.
I live in England. There is no such thing as a spectacular meteor shower!
Perhaps someone needs to publish some research on the power of astronomical events to cause cloud cover. It's almost as if they're hiding...
Could I get something to pipe all this glorious sunshine to me here at ground-level? Say a 20,000 foot long tube with mirrors inside. We could call it a sunbrella. Hold it above your head, while walking down the street, and be bathed in sunshine, whatever-the-weather.
Right, I'm off to email Dragon's Den. Offering them 0.001% of my company for ONE MEEELLION POUNDS!!!!!
There were two Brummie girls down at the Bullring and a Merkin tourist. The tourist asks the girls if he can photograph them and they tell him he can. The tourist fiddles with his camera and as he continues to fiddle with it, the girls grow impatient.
Girl 1: "What's he doin' then?"
Girl 2: "I think he's trying to focus."
Girl 1: "Why doesn't he tek us to the pub then?"
Not all megafauna became extinct between 12,000 and 10,000 radiocarbon years BP. Elephants are still around and were arguably exposed to predation by humans there far longer than anywhere else on the planet. The Younger Dryas affected the tropics to a far lesser extent than the higher latitudes.
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