INCOMING! Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Meteorite
Ted Neild, Granta Books 2011
Astonishing new research suggests that 470 million years ago, a stupendous collision in the Asteroid Belt bombarded the Earth with meteorites of all sizes and that the resulting ecological disturbance may have been responsible for the greatest increase in biological diversity since the origin of complex life – the hitherto unexplained Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event.
Introducing these fresh discoveries to a wider public for the first time, Ted Nield challenges the orthodox view that major meteorite strikes are always bad news for life on Earth. He argues that one of the most widely known scientific theories – that dinosaurs were wiped out by a meteorite strike 65 million years ago – isn’t the whole picture, and that the causes of this mass extinction were much more varied and complex.
Meteorites have been the stuff of legend throughout human history, interpreted as omens of doom or objects of power. But only in the late 18th century, when the study of falling space debris became a science, were meteorites used to unlock the mysteries of our planet and our universe. In a wonderfully lively and entertaining style, Incoming! traces the history of meteorites from the first recorded strike to the video recordings made routinely today, showing how our interpretations of meteorites have varied according to the age in which they fall, and how meteorite impacts were given fresh urgency with the advent of the atom bomb and the anxieties of the Cold War. Featuring a wealth of fascinating characters alongside new research, this is the perfect guide to the science of the ‘falling sky’.
Production specs: 5 colour jacket with supermatte lamination and spot UV varnish to type, die-cut circle revealing portion of printed paper case beneath. Printed case featuring wraparound, B-movie disaster illustration!