Thursday, December 13, 2012

Too Close

That was a good one!  Whooooosh!  A bright flash in the sky, slightly green, arcing over the house hight above and making no actual "whooooosh" sound but accompanied by "Ahhhhhh!" and "Ohhhhhh!" and "Did you see that?"

It's the Night of the Geminids, the annual meteor shower that is either a boom or a bust but always cold.  It's a toss up whether to stay outside lying by the pool in the December air for a few more minutes or go inside and play MechWarrior on the big screen.

Either way you'll hear, Ohhhhh, Ahhhh and Did you see that?

Being the sensitive one I think about the poor old Geminid particles that have been orbiting the solar system for who knows how long.  OK, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking know how long but I don't.  Quite a while.

Then the particle feels a tug, very slight, just a little pull, not much of an effect but enough to pull one out of orbit.  Then the pull becomes a definite tug and finally a grasp as it falls deeper and deeper into that gravitational well.

And then down and down it goes, spiraling in, falling into infinity, helpless, until it either loops around for an other pass or burns up in the heat of its own passion, so to speak.  Lost in its own falling.

The particle might be thinking, "Oh, that was surprising" while we knew all along it was going to end with Ohhhhhh's, Ahhhhhh's and "Did you see that?"

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