Summer returns to Russia: Earth avoids ‘nuclear winter’

A meteor shower was expected: several dozen “falling stars” per second. Nicely! But better – without such beauty.

A photograph: Shutterstock

On the morning of May 31, an ominous secular performance was to take place. Earth is supposed to collide with the wreckage of comet Schwassmann-Wachmann. The comet disintegrated in 1995, the wreckage was walking and wandering, and according to absolutely accurate estimates, they should have covered the Earth. Even the time was calculated repeatedly: around 8 in the morning Moscow time.

A meteor shower was expected: several dozen “falling stars” per second. Nicely! But better – without such beauty. Comet dust will wipe out the upper atmosphere. Sunlight would be partially blocked. It would be a mini-nuclear winter. This has happened many times in history, both from volcanoes and from meteorites. The most striking example: the death of most of the biosphere after the fall of an asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. Death did not come from the fall (explosion) itself, but from the “nuclear winter”.

The tail of dust and debris was approaching. It was visible even from Earth. Although the meteorites were supposed to fly from the constellation of Boots, to the right, in the constellation of Leo, a faint glow was observed. It was an awesome drink that shone in the sunlight before falling on the planet.

For several days now, the outskirts of the constellation Boots have been revived significantly. Usually at the end of May there are practically no meteorites. Suddenly they started to see 4-5 per hour. For August, when another current “works”, the Perseids (from the constellation of Perseus) -not so much, for May- very noticeable. So, the calculations are correct and everything will be done. Shut up, get ready.

And here is the fateful night of May 31st. Although it is already light in Russia at 8 in the morning, Russia is not sleeping. Astronomy enthusiasts chat on social media, professionals walk nervously around screens. What if the calculations are not accurate enough, will the storm start earlier and we will see?

Luckily, clouds covered western Russia, from St. Petersburg to Crimea. It’s always like that: a few nights ago it was perfectly clear. But Siberia is clean. There, eager eyes looked up at the sky.

Around midnight comes a message from Japan: there is a flow! But not yet a storm. With a dozen meteors per hour. Hm … Maybe not that? Nothing is visible to the eye. Observers describe every meteorite they see. Not everyone belongs to this current. The locator in Japan also suddenly stops seeing them.

The author of these lines decided to fool the clouds and sat on the radio. Is he here? Everything is very simple. Here you drive a car, the FM radio works in the cabin. But you drive away from the city and the station goes off. FM waves do not strike more than a few tens of kilometers. Therefore, sitting in Moscow, we do not hear stations, for example, in Germany. But meteorites form a “mirror” above the planet, reflecting the waves, at an altitude of 80 kilometers. If there are many meteorites, the “mirror” is fixed: each meteorite “works” for a few seconds, but together they create a reflective layer. With the help of this “mirror” you can hear even Poland, even St. Petersburg, even Germany – in Moscow.

To be sure, I use a tricky sdr receiver. In this, the stations are visible directly on the computer screen. Who works, who does not work, you can see right away. If an “extra” station appears, a mouse gesture – and you hear it. She, right? Very comfortable.

A strange breakfast – like summer and bright, but cold and gray. Even the birds do not sing. Stations silent and distant. Only Moscow broadcasts music and conversations. How is it, absolutely nothing? Even in August, when starfish have weakened in recent years, the screen of a radio is like the window of a car in the rain. Distant voices appear and disappear, seeing it is like swimming in an ocean of voices and sounds. And then – they promised a storm, “that grandparents did not see” and – absolutely nothing?

Morning. Verdict: there was no storm. But maybe they did not notice, did not understand? And what about America, where is the night? Some began to watch recordings from the cameras of the American observatories. There are such services: the cameras capture everything and constantly. And you can watch now or later. But where are the clouds, and where is the black empty sky. Palm trees, warm, I guess. But there are no meteorites.

The absence was confirmed by the Americans themselves. They write: the time was predicted correctly. But with the “storm” they got excited many thousands of times. Several meteors per hour (others write – 10), instead of several tens of thousands.

What happened, how could scientists make such a gross mistake? And then voices were heard that something flickering rubbed in the constellation of Boots. Otherwise, the aliens erected a dome to save the Earth. It is true that Elon Musk satellites are “rubbed” there, which just ignite in Bootes.

In fact, there were doubts that there would be a storm. The storm was predicted by two teams of scientists, in Germany and Japan. Their calculations proved to be accurate in time (meteors appeared), but not in numbers (there were few meteors). And there are reasons for that.

First, it would be the first observation of the Earth colliding with Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann meteorites. The first means that everything has been calculated, nothing has yet been verified by observations. Second, the comet itself (something left of it) is far from Earth. And of course, most of the dust is where the comet remains (or was). It was situations like these that caused the great storms of the past: the Earth collided with a non-existent “place” where a comet used to be and this “place” turned out to be full of dust.

But there is, of course, a more important and fundamental reason. It is only believed that astronomers can perfectly calculate orbits and motions. Well, a satellite was launched to Mars, it flew. We make gravitational maneuvers around other planets. Yes. This is when you manage the process yourself and see the result. When you are out of control and do not see the dust until it hits the Earth, guesswork and speculation come into play. The coincidence of the data of the two groups of scientists seemed to be a strong argument. However, nature decided otherwise.

Nature – or those who covered the planet from a catastrophic flood with an invisible shield?

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