Happy Halloween, Baboons!
As we prepare for the annual Trick-or-Treat kidstorm in our neighborhood (more than 500 tiny treats handed out at our door last year), I’m reminded of the blessing of infinite variety in our candy universe. We have hard, crunchy candies and soft chewy ones. Dark chocolate and milk chocolate for the older kids and fun, fruity chews for the tykes. Some candies are solid throughout. Others have gooey and even liquid interiors, which can strike some people as creepy and even dangerous.
And so it goes for asteroids, apparently.
There are millions of them in the asteroid belt, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Last year the European Space Agency accomplished a close-by flight on one such object, named Lutetia. Something about Lutetia is not quite right – she’s a lot denser than she appears (also true for some people – yours truly included). In the case of Lutetia, the theory making the rounds right now is that there’s molten metal in the center, which would be something new for asteroids and could suggest that Lutetia was on the way to becoming a full-fledged planet before succumbing to a case of arrested development.
It might also explain where magnetic meteorites come from.
Lutetia is odd shaped and nugget-like. It actually reminds me of a couple of things – one is a piece of the bag candy “Pop Rocks”, which fizzed in your mouth. Remember those? There was a pervasive bit of urban lore claiming kids who swallowed the candy or mixed it with a carbonated drink would suffer some kind of gastro-intestinal explosion – a thought that was just threatening enough to make Pop Rocks irresistible.
And of course as we’ve already discussed, Lutetia’s weird shape is reminiscent of a well-known image by Edvard Munch, now made even more alarming by the thought that there’s hot liquid metal sloshing around inside. How appropriate for Halloween. Don’t bite down too hard, unless you want to SCREAM!
What’s your favorite candy?