Relive Earth's wild history of meteor strikes

In the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's a meteor! This nifty graph lets you explore confirmed meteor strikes on Earth.

In 2010, photographer Henry Lee snapped this stunning image of a Geminid meteor flying over the horizon of Alabama Hills, Calif. Henry Lee

Aside from death and taxes, there's another thing certain in life: meteors. To get a historical perspective on just how many dazzling space rocks have fallen through our skies in recent times, peep at Carlo Zapponi's visual graph called Bolides, which puts meteor strikes in a chronological view.

Inspired by the Greek word bolis (missile), Bolides features data from a range of historical meteor records, ranging from MetBase to London's Natural History Museum catalog of meteorites, and displays the data in a way that makes you want to click around and explore.

According to Zapponi, while there are more than 34,842 recordings of meteorites since the year 861, his graph only shows the 1,045 meteorites, observed by people or devices, that haven't been discredited or doubted.

Some interesting moments to check out: 1933, the year of 16 confirmed meteor strikes on Earth, and 1947, when the mega Sikhote-Alin meteor struck Russia.

 

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