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Re: Watch you language! (was Re: "No Bolides!")

From: Stephen Okay <sokay@snm.com>
 > Can we get our terminology a bit clearer here?
 > I just had a look over at the NASA JPL Terms site and also looked it up in
 > Webster's New Encylopedic Unabridged,and according to both, with JPL listing 
 > a
 > bolide as an "exploding meteorite",and Websters defining it as:"A brilliant
 > glowing meteor, esp. one that explodes",which could cover any number of 
 > things
 > IMHO.

A meteor the size of the Yucatan impactor would certainly have been
a "brilliant glowing meteor". The size estimates are cited in kilometers.

As to "exploding", is this to be taken to mean *prior* to impact,
or upon impact.  The reconstructions of the K-T impact event I have
read in the technical literature indicate an explosion many orders of
magnitude larger than the largest nuclear weapon ever exploded, and
indeed far larger than the largest volcanic explosion in all the time
humanity has been on Earth. We are talking sending debris into orbit
here, and a fireball visible half the world away. There are indications
of a fire storm as far north as Alberta, Canada. (From *Yucatan*!!:
think a moment what that implies).

So, if the explosion of a bolide can be upon impact, then it *was*
a bolide.

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.