Hello Asteroid project participants,
Have you had a chance yet to do the opening activity? (Let me know if you
have any problems opening the PDF file in week 1.) The first lesson of Exploring
Meteorite Mysteries described Brodie's and Brian's encounter with a meteorite.
Fortunately, it did not strike them and they were able to report their discovery.
Not all strikes have been harmless. In fact, John Lewis in his book, "Rain
of Iron and Ice" has a whole chapter on the history of meteorite strikes.
He lists over 150 documented reports of meteorite damage. Referring to Lewis's
list, Charles Frankel in "The End of Dinosaurs" writes on Page 176-177:
|"In the course of the [20th century]
it is worth noting that five cars have been struck by meteorites without
loss of life....Because of the veneration surrounding automobiles - and their
market value as collector's items - these car hits have been widely
publicized, so much so that one might wonder if they attract meteorites
in some mysterious way! However, a look at John Lewis's list shows that buildings
register many more hits. A staggering total of over 50 strikes on houses,
sheds, barns, farmhouses, and other buildings are reported in the 20th century
alone. To round off the list, there are two cases of planes sweeping through
- and surviving meteor showers, and two case of boats being hit (1936 &
1938) the first being set ablaze by the strike. At least two forest fires
are also attributed to impacts, in Mexico (1910) and Massachusetts (1921).
Finally among the most humorous cosmic strikes, one mailbox was demolished
by a meteorite in Georgia (1984); a meteorite flew into a room through an
opened window in Japan 1949); and the dome of an amateur telescope was pierced
by a pair of meteorites in Washington State, setting astronomy books
on fire. There were also about 1/2 a dozen people killed by strikes. The
same number of deaths occurred in the 19th century."
You can see some cool videos of meteors flying through the sky at
To do list:
- Have your students find evidence of strikes like the ones above
by searching the Web. Have them share what they find with our group by sending
an email to me (email@example.com) and I will post it on the discussion
& email board.
- These meteor strikes are not earth threatening events. However,
they are pieces of larger rocks that could do a lot more damage. What's the
difference between meteors, meteorites, meteoroids, and asteroids? Where
do they come from? There is some information about this in the teacher's
guide (pages 1-5 in Exploring Meteor Mysteries ). But feel free to use your
own sources for this and don't forget to share them with us.
- During this coming week, have your students come up with examples
of why we should or should not be concerned about meteor (or asteroid) strikes.
I will post your offerings on our website.
Resources for you to explore
You will find these links for Week 2 on the Teacher
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Jason Smith - the reporter for the Armageddon
News - has some interesting information about Project NEAR which he promises
to share with you. (I tried calling him again this morning, but he wasn't
More to come...
Regards - Ihor
Asteroid Watch Projector coordinator