Monday, August 11, 2008

Avoiding meteor shower injuries

By keeping your ears, open

One Twilight in the sizzling summer of ’66 our family was peaceably standing around cooling off in Aunt Jane’s and Uncle John’s rural Pennsylvania backyard. Suddenly, out of nowhere a fireball traveling at a tremendous rate whooshed loudly across the full breadth of our rural sky. As my kinfolk jumped up and down, the elders and youngsters looked at each other with the unspoken knowledge that seeing this meteor close, enough to hear it was indeed a rare gift. That evening we thought that a new rock had landed in the nearby Amish country hills.

Decades later, I moved to Idaho with its similarly starry skies. Here I began to watch the occasionally scheduled meteor shower. One August twilight, I prepared camping supplies to haul into big sky country north of town to watch the reliable Perseids shower. While tossing some wool blankets in the van, I twisted my ankle on the gnarly roots of the sugar maple behind the old shack. This was fine, because I planned to lie recumbent to watch the stars. I merely needed to raise my leg higher and find some snow. I joked that this incident was a “meteor shower injury” which made me wonder how many documented cases there are of people actually struck by meteorites.

My first search of “Meteor shower injuries” landed nothing. However, there do seem to be a few isolated incidents of people hit by meteors...


1 comment:

  1. I didn't follow your links, but recall reading once about a woman who was hit in the leg by one. She'd been sitting in her home & it plowed through the roof. I suppose she's lucky to have survived. Imagine the odds...


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