The Electric Commentary

Monday, August 15, 2005

If it's not one thing, it's small, super dense particles.

This is just strange:

FORGET dangers from giant meteors: Earth is facing another threat from outer space. Scientists have come to the conclusion that two mysterious explosions in the 1990s were caused by bizarre cosmic missiles.

The two objects were picked up by earthquake detectors as they tore through Earth at up to 900,000 mph. According to scientists, the most plausible explanation is that they were "strangelets", clumps of matter that have so far defied detection but whose existence was posited 20 years ago.

Formed in the Big Bang and inside extremely dense stars, strangelets are thought to be made from quarks - the subatomic particles found inside protons and neutrons. Unlike ordinary matter, however, they also contain "strange quarks", particles normally only seen in high-energy accelerators.

Strangelets - sometimes also called strange-quark nuggets - are predicted to have many unusual properties, including a density about ten million million times greater than lead. Just a single pollen-size fragment is believed to weigh several tons.


Moving along...

The scientists looked for events producing two sharp signals, one as it entered Earth, the other as it emerged again. They found two such events, both in 1993. The first was on the morning of October 22. Seismometers in Turkey and Bolivia recorded a violent event in Antarctica that packed the punch of several thousand tons of TNT. The disturbance then ripped through Earth on a route that ended with it exiting through the floor of the Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka just 26 seconds later - implying a speed of 900,000 mph.

The second event took place on November 24, when sensors in Australia and Bolivia picked up an explosion starting in the Pacific south of the Pitcairn Islands and travelling through Earth to appear in Antarctica 19 seconds later.


The universe is weird.

(Hat tip, Instapundit)

Update: Hmm. It appears that this article is several years old.

1. How did I not notice that?

2. How did that happen in the first place?

2 Comments:

  • Is it just me or is this article from May 2002?

    By Blogger Ace Cowboy, at 3:31 PM  

  • Hmm. That's weird isn't it.

    In the cosmic scheme of things it's still current though. I wonder how the person who posted this originally stumbled across it.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 3:44 PM  

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