Friday, June 12, 2009

That's gotta sting!

Phil's been talking a lot recently about meteors. Most notably, he pointed out just how unlikely it is for a plane to be hit by one. But what about a person?

Back in 1954 a woman was hit by a fist sized one that crashed through her roof while she was sleeping and left a good bruise, but didn't leave any real injuries.

But this past week, a UK boy was hit by one without the luck of a roof in the way. This one left a nasty scar.

Meanwhile, I'm skeptical about the claims of speed the article has listed. 30,000 mph? Seriously? And just left a scar? The muzzle velocity of high speed guns is only 4,000 mph. 30k mph is a perfectly respectable speed for a meteor before it hits our atmosphere, but they slow considerably.

Additionally, I think the chance of getting hit by a meteor is far less than "one in a million". I think that's just their innumerate way of saying "very unlikely".

Despite the sloppy journalism I've come to expect from science, it's still a pretty monumental occurrence. It's good to hear the kid's into science and hopefully this event will promote an interest that lasts as long as that scar.

No comments: