Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We Got Hit By Another Planet

A long time ago, sort of like a few billion years ago, planet earth took a glancing blow from another planet. Not quite a head-on smasher, but it would have been bad enough to knock any animals into the middle of the next billion years. Luckily, there weren’t any animals around to be so treated.

It was a time before anything was around; Our Fair Planet was still in the process of getting its act together and figuring out just what was going on when this other planet, with nary a "pardon me" came along and rammed into us. Hard. Bad enough to knock itself right out of planetary existence and send part of us into orbit.

“Part of us” = what we now call the moon. Given the size of our satellite, I’d love to have a front-row seat and a bag of popcorn so I could have been there for this action.

“On the right, ladies and gentleman, we have planet earth. Approaching on the left, as you can see, is another planet aimed at earth just like a cue ball which will hit earth on an angle designed to knock a lot of rock crust off it and into its own orbit. Here it comes; put your hands over your ears and be ready to duck.”

California is getting ready for The Big One; Yellowstone National Park, when it blows up, may end much of life on earth as we know it; Vesuvius could wipe out part of Italy at any time. But you ain’t seen anything, folks. That planetary kiss way back then was the biggest bang of them all.


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