It has been twelve months since we counted the last minutes of 2019 and we have shouted ‘Happy New Year’ with joy. We were happily unaware of what was in store for us in the following days.
For those who have lost their livelihood, their health or, most tragically, their loved ones, there is no silver lining that can possibly compensate for the heavy grief mine surrounded by the COVID-19 epidemic. Or the damage caused by these years of superstitious wildfires and hurricanes.
Some of us have been a little more lucky. Aside from the inconvenience of needing to clean toilet paper or putting on pants for your next zoom meeting, 2020 was more bizarre than sad. It can get really bad, after all.
How bad Well, we can be thankful …
Yellowstone’s supervolcano did not explode
More than a thousand cubic kilometers (about 240 cubic miles) of rock, dirt, and trees were thrown high into the sky when a bubble of magma and hot gases blew the continents about 4040,000 years ago.
The same molten stone calc ladra, now known as the Yellowstone cal de ladra in North America, is technically left for repeat operations.
Now, there’s a lot in that word, ‘technical’. Technically the final book Game of Thrones Series pending. But the timing of previous releases is not a reliable indication of when to expect a sequel.
Still, with every glimmer and shake of the national park landscape, people are wondering whether another Big One is imminent.
This past June a dozen earthquake wires shook one wire after another in a fast field. And just this October the regular ticking of a geyser called Old Faithful stopped so faithfully and suspiciously calmed down.
One would have been surprised if Yellowstone chose 2020 to explode.
Well, none other than most of the world’s volcanologists. Research suggests that if anything, Yellowstone Supervaloca’s ano deep was more active in the past, and we should adjust our expectations when it blows.
Whenever it’s that year, 2020 it wasn’t.
One planet did not slam on Earth
All eyes were on a nook of a mineral called 2018VP1 earlier this year, which was launched in the U.S. The probability of a landslide on Earth on election day was 1 in 240.
Rarely around 2 meters (about 7 feet), the 2018 VP1 140 meters (460 feet) falls far short of NASA, which is something we really need to worry about. It’s a pebble compared to the 10-kilometer Behemoth that wiped out the dinosaurs, and it also had to knock down the planet in the worst possible way.
Nevertheless, any fast-moving boulder within thousands of kilometers of the Earth is a good reason to think about the dangers posed by dangerous-Earth asteroids.
A survey of the asteroid terrestrial-effect Last Warning System (ATLS) at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii on Friday, November 13 – warned astronomers to pass a small building-sized rock.
Just 400 kilometers from the Pacific, the observation set a new record for the closest pass to the planet. Worst of all, it was obscured by the blinding glare of the sun, we didn’t even realize it until the hours that had already passed.
It’s not that we needed to worry too much about it, if it hit. The rock was not much larger than the Chelyabinsk meteorite that famously flew over Russia in 2013.
But a close shave suggests that under the right circumstances we could easily be blinded by an unexpected cosmic sniper. And if we were to be blasted back to the Stone Age by an asteroid, the meaning of 2020 would be understood, right?
Needless to say, there are no asteroids of concern on Earth this year. Yes!
We are not made alive by solar radiation
Beatles is a red giant star more than 600 light years away that we wish would die soon, as the resulting light show will be spectacular.
Earlier this year, everyone got an upbeat joy when everyone felt like hitting the indicator eye by the star. It happened again in August. Was that the first note of his swan song?
No. In at least one case, it was probably an infiltration curtain of dust – as exciting as a cloud passing the sun on a cold winter day.
Then we learned that Battleus was probably much younger than he had seen before, so the supernova would not go away for long and we all turned our attention to darker subjects. If the Beatles had erupted, it would still be too far to harm us.
But if the star were so close – as if only 65 light years away – its death could strip our ozone planet and leave us exposed.
Indeed, we need to worry more about the frequent discomfort of our own fast-moving charged particles from the sun. Thankfully we have a nice magnetic ield that protects… which is still in place securely, right?
This year marks the beginning of the star’s 25th solar cycle. Hip Hooray! Right now we’re at the bottom of his mood swings, which is nothing special. We see this kind of lull every 11 years.
Aliens never invaded
Remember back in 2017 when our solar system was visited by ridiculously fast asteroids?
We still have to check our spelling of ‘Omuamua’ three times each time, but since he was the first confirming visitor from outside our solar system, it wasn’t really long before the word ‘aliens’ was mentioned. Throw in the fact that it has a strange shape and has a reddish tinge to it, and it is a history channel documentary in the making.
So, to our complete and complete surprise, it turns out that he was not an alien. Go figure.
Don’t worry; Late last year we had our second confirmed international visitor in the form of a comet called 2I / Borisov, so we got hope again.
Astronomers are keeping an eye on it during 2020, and we’ve learned a lot about the budget. That’s a good thing, too. As the Earth endures chaos this year, our planet will be perfect for an alien takeover. No doubt they will also bring their own supply of masks.
Undead’s army never rose from the grave
It is rare that archaeologists find intact Egyptian tombs with sealed sarcophagi that have remained untouched for centuries, let alone a thousand years. But when they do, it’s a cause for excitement.
The secrets in them show not only what our ancestors looked like, but what they sounded like, how they lived and how they died.
But this is about 2020. So when the sealed coffins were just coming this year, we were sure this was how it would all end; In the wave of desi corpses waving their bandages angrily after Trahimam shouted in the streets?
With 2020 now officially over, we feel we can safely accept that a large crowd of undead is on their way, and that any secrets we find in Egyptian tombs will ultimately benefit humanity.
Let’s not just open any graves in January. Just to be sure.