*A message sent from skies above
A message meant to humble
To tell us all, take time to love
Find peace and not to grumble
Next message sent may be the last
The cosmos has for us
So live each day, forget the past
Don’t sweat small stuff and fuss
This message sent by cosmos host
Was meant for all to hear
To take each day and make the most
Before we disappear*
This artwork was inspired by our very near miss with an asteroid on Monday, March 2, 2009. The asteroid – named 2009 DD45 – passed Earth early Monday 48,800 miles above Tahiti. That is just twice as high as the orbits of some telecommunications satellites and about a fifth of the distance to the Moon. It measured between 69 feet and 154 feet across, about as big as the one that crashed near Tunguska, Siberia, in 1908 and leveled 830 square miles of forest. That’s a 32-mile wide circle.
If the asteroid would have hit, it is estimated that it would have been 1,000 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima… and this is just a very small asteroid sent by the cosmos with very little warning to humble us all. Yet, just five days have passed it has pretty much been forgotten.
Of the known asteroids, the next time one will get this close to Earth will be in 2029 when an 885-foot asteroid called 99942 Apophis comes within 20,000 miles. If that hits the earth it will be an extinction event comparable to the asteroid that caused the dinosaurs to go extinct.
We may not be so lucky the next time around, and it could very well be another unknown asteroid besides Apophis. So remember the message that was just sent to us on Monday, and that is to live each day to the fullest, as there are never any guarantees in life, and we could all very well be gone tomorrow.
This is quite a multi-media artwork. The asteroid in the artwork is eight seperate fractals that I programmed, merged, and rendered in POV-Ray. The asteroid trail was created in Photoshop. The source image of the International Space Station and the Earth is a public domain image from NASA available at the link that I have provided below.
The asteroid was scaled to approximate it’s actual size, against the size of the International Space Station. This was done to give the viewer a scope of the size in relation to it’s destructive power estimated in the second paragraph above. The many components of the artwork were then composited together in Photoshop. Because the original is so large and difficult to see over the internet, I have included a few detail cutaways below. The cutaways are at 33% of the full-size artwork.