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Monday, Oct 25, 2021
Outlook.com

Great Balls Of Fire

Get ready for celestial fireworks that may knock off a few satellites

Great Balls Of Fire
Great Balls Of Fire
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

DON'T sleep on Tuesday night, November 17. A couple of hours after the witching hour—2.10 am, to be precise—an army of meteors will come crashing into the earth's orbit and blaze off a two-hour-long magnificent pyrotechnic display, the kind you've never witnessed before. A celestial Diwali, if you please. In 1966, people in north America were treated to a similar display, and now 33 years later—the return of the cosmic invaders—east and south Asia are the privileged vantage points. Next November, it's the turn of the east Europeans.

But don't be carried away by the event's apocalyptic symbolism. There's no threat to human life whatsoever. The shooting stars, as blazing meteors are popularly called, are puny particles, no larger than small pebbles. They'll be reduced to flaming nothings as they chafe through the earth's atmosphere. However, this is the first time these cyclical bombers will run into over 500 active satellites circling the earth. The question is: will our telecommunications gear be jammed? Will we suffer an...

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