Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race to Defend Earth

Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race to Defend Earth

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Combining history, pop science, and in-depth reporting, a fascinating account of asteroids that hit Earth long ago, and those streaming toward us now, as well as how we are preparing against asteroid-caused catastrophe.

One of these days, warns Gordon Dillow, the Earth will be hit by a comet or asteroid of potentially catastrophic size. The only question is when. In the meantime, we need to get much better at finding objects hurtling our way, and if they’re large enough to penetrate the atmosphere without burning up, figure out what to do about them.

We owe many of science’s most important discoveries to the famed Meteor Crater, a mile-wide dimple on the Colorado Plateau created by an asteroid hit 50,000 years ago. In his masterfully researched Fire in the Sky, Dillow unpacks what the Crater has to tell us. Prior to the early 1900s, the world believed that all craters—on the Earth and Moon—were formed by volcanic activity. Not so. The revelation that Meteor Crater and others like it were formed by impacts with space objects has led to a now accepted theory about what killed off the dinosaurs, and it has opened up a new field of asteroid observation, which has recently brimmed with urgency. Dillow looks at great asteroid hits of the past and spends time with modern-day asteroid hunters and defense planning experts, including America’s first Planetary Defense Officer.

Satellite sensors confirm that a Hiroshima-scale blast occurs in the atmosphere every year, and a smaller, one-kiloton blast every month. While Dillow makes clear that the objects above can be deadly, he consistently inspires awe with his descriptions of their size, makeup, and origins. At once a riveting work of popular science and a warning to not take for granted the space objects hurtling overhead, Fire in the Sky is, above all, a testament to our universe’s celestial wonders.

Title:Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race to Defend Earth
ISBN:9781501187742
Format Type:

    Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race to Defend Earth Reviews

  • Yun

    Fire in the Sky is a look into the history and science of asteroids and comets, spanning millions of years as it distills down all that we know of these celestial bodies. It also dives into their capa...

  • Sumit RK

    A popular theme in the movies is that of an incoming asteroid that could extinguish life on the planet, and our heroes are launched into space to blow it up. (think Armageddon or Deep Impact). The id...

  • Clay Davis

    The book cover looks someone dropped red paint on it and then smudged it....

  • ?Misericordia? ?????? ????

    A fun research into everything travelling the sky and beyond: from pop-culture disaster scenarios to space exploration and Earth planetary history....

  • Juli

    Stories about an asteroid striking the earth and causing complete destruction have been popular for decades now. Not to mention documentaries, podcast episodes, youtube videos..... It's ingrained in p...

  • Bandit

    Look up at the night sky. The shooting star you’re making a wish on just might be a deadly space object that destroys the Earth. Ok, no, not really. The odds of that are very slim indeed, but all to...

  • Tim Martin

    Well written popular science book on the science and history of asteroid and comet impacts on the Earth, detailing some of the basic science and history behind what asteroids and comets are, the surpr...

  • Kristy

    Excellent history of asteroid impacts, discovery, and plans to protect the earth from near-earth objects. There was just enough humor injected into this to keep me wanting to listen to it throughout t...

  • Beth

    Very interesting and informative....

  • Robert Johnson

    A breezy, well written book that keeps your interest. I learned a lot about comets and asteroids along the way and the subject is written in such a way that it is never boring or over my head. I enjoy...