The Overstated Dangers of Meteors
A person rambling about on the Moon's surface has much less chance of being
adversely affected by a meteorite (small or large) than do any of us in our
everyday surface ramblings on Earth of being hit by lightning, basketball-sized
hail, or a motor fallen off a plane. Yes, it could happen, but if you are such a
worrywart, just stay home. The crater-pocked surface of the Moon was largely
created in a period from 4 to 3.5 billion years ago when the inner solar system
was filled with debris. The debris remaining is infinitesimal in comparison.
On the other hand, the Earth-Moon system periodically passes through orbiting
rivers of comet-derived dust creating the famous meteor showers, like the
Perseids in mid-August. There may be lunar "weather alerts" for narrowly defined
windows such as these. Of much greater concern are solar flare storms (If you saw
the '91 ABC movie release "Plymouth" you will recall such an incident - not at
all exaggerated). Warning time for solar flares can be a problem. On the other
hand, they are seasonal (in terms of 22-year-long season-cycles) in expectancy
and probability. A network of monitor stations in solar orbit closer in than
Mercury and able to keep in view the total circumference of the Sun, should allow
timely advance notice "high probability" warnings leaving ample time to "take
Every frontier has brought with it a new set of potential dangers and
pitfalls. The settlers and pioneers learn to take those in stride and adjust
their habits accordingly. Why should it not be different on the Moon?
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