On October 8, an asteroid exploded over Indonesia with the force of a small atomic bomb. This is the same day that earthquakes struck the area. The detonation took place twelve miles up and caused no damage on the ground, but had the object struck the surface it could have easily obliterated a city. Despite the fact that it was nine feet across, the asteroid was not detected at all prior to its entry into our atmosphere. Last week, another substantial asteroid flew past us between the earth and the moon, and was not detected until hours prior to its closest approach. Since July, large impacts have been recorded on Jupiter, in one of the rings of Saturn and possibly on Venus. The bright area that appeared in Venusians clouds could have been caused either by massive volcanism or an impact. Had the object that struck Jupiter hit the earth, it would have caused at least as much damage as the one that ended the dinosaur era. There is no evidence that these objects are part of any known meteor swarm. The Orionids, which resulted from the breakup of Halley's Comet, are not known to contain any large objects. They were in progress at the time that the asteroid exploded. Last February, there was a worldwide rash of meteors large enough to generate fireballs, but nothing on the scale of the Indonesian object.
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