I loved this story in the New York Times.
“The Bruise Heard Round the World.”
IF you’re an astro-geek, this was as good as it gets.
Around the time of the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing last week, an amateur astronomer in Australia detected evidence that a comet had collided with Jupiter, leaving a bruise the size of Earth. This was just days before the longest solar eclipse the world will see this century, in Asia — and in the same summer as a new “Star Trek” movie, no less.
For backyard stargazers, it hasn’t been this delicious since Pluto was demoted from planet status.
A bruise the size of Earth. Yikes!
It was “what seemed to be the biggest planetary collision since 1994, when fragments of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet also collided with Jupiter (hey, with a mass two and a half times greater than all the other planets in the solar system combined, it’s a big target).”
Obvious question in the Times piece:
“Would a blow like this to Earth wipe out civilization?”
Alas, the piece never provides an answer. So, here’s mine.