Flying, and Not Flying

Flying objects and grounded objects seem to be in the news today.

First the flying objects: A big fireball went streaking across the sky over the Midwest last night. As always in these types of deals, a security camera caught it:

Meanwhile, flights to and from Europe are disrupted because of an ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano that is erupting. Seems the grit in the air gets into jet engines, and cause them to sputter to a stop. Then of course, you get unpleasant plane crashes. Since nobody really wants that, officials decided to just not fly.

Good plan.

In the past, some huge volcanic eruptions have caused temporary global cooling. The “Year Without a Summer” in Vermont in 1816 was caused by a volcano in the tropics that erupted a year earlier. The gunk and dust and sulfer in the atmosphere blocked some sunlight, cooling everything off.

In 1816, snow drifted up to 20 inches deep in  Danville, Vermont in the middle of June, and widespread, killing frosts hit almost the entire state of Vermont  in July and August.

Weather experts say the Iceland volcano is far too small to cause any cooling. In fact this volcano might bring us a nice gift. Some of the ash is going to circulate around the northern hemisphere for a few weeks. That means starting next week, we might start seeing some unusually colorful and pretty sunsets as the setting sun reflects off all those little pieces of grit way above us.

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