Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! If you didn't notice, my last two blog posts were a little... unusual. While stargazing is a favorite pastime of mine, a few of the things I wrote about were... shall we say... "slanted" for entertainment purposes. Hey, at least I'm telling you. Hollywood never extends you that courtesy when they stretch scientific truths. I'm talking to you, "The Day After Tomorrow" (though I still loves ya in my geeky way).
Everything I wrote about in my "Planetary Stargazing" post is 100% true. Every time I take my telescope out, I look for Saturn and Jupiter first (and then I head over to the Orion Nebula and the Andromeda Galaxy, if the time of year is right). It was, however, a setup for an online mulitplayer reenactment of Orson Welles' famous radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds." It was called "War of the Worlds 2.0" and it was set in motion by these folks at Twitter. Twitter, as many of you know, is a sort of broadcast mini blogging system. Those of us who took part in the broadcast offered updates throughout the day as we made our way through the carnage and terror. The puppet masters at WotW 2.0 told us what was going on so that we were all on the same timeline. Obviously, I made more of these updates via Twitter than I did via my blog because in the event of an alien invasion, I would be FAR more likely to have my iPhone with me for Twitter updates than I would be to carry a laptop around for making coherent, lengthy observations. Whether or not said iPhone (or even Twitter) would be up and running in such an event is another matter. Hey, it's still fiction.
Which brings me to my "Flee? Not me!" post. Yeah, this one was a crock. I mean, it's all real, but it wasn't observed two nights ago and no one was fleeing (that I know of). The first two videos I linked to were taken about two years ago by local Colorado news traffic copters. It is actually footage of a Russian rocket body re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. It is NOT, as the idiots at Fox "concluded" the Quadrantid meteor shower. For my full, original rant on that subject, read my post on Chicken Little and the Notion of God. I mention it about halfway down. The third video is footage of a fireball (big freakin' meteor) that someone captured. I offered them up here on my blog as the kind of post a quizzical astronomy enthusiast/healthy skeptic would write if alien cylinders were raining down on the planet.
I, for the record, am not that healthy skeptic. I would simply assume they were UFOs and run around pointlessly through the streets, praying to whatever god would take me. I mean, I've seen movies. Duh. Ahem.
If you are interested in reading about my "very bad day," I will be posting my tweet feed within a day or so (I have to move into my new house first). I'll included a couple of other folks for clarity's sake (because I "reply" to them), but there were too many players who made this fun for me to really list everyone. You can also see the archive of the entire War of the Worlds 2.0 event here.