The End Is Near

In six billion years, the sun will swell into a red giant and toast Earth. In two billion years, the Milky Way will collide with another galaxy. Asteroids, black holes, space microbes, supernovas and sun flares — these are just some of the ways the world could end. Where will you be when our planet becomes too wild for our fragile kind? Chances are you’ll be long dead, because — apparently — Armageddon just isn’t that prophetic. “Disaster movies always get it wrong,” says Philip Plait, aka the Bad Astronomer. “I love disaster movies, but I wanted to correct some of the misconceptions. There are people out there who make money scaring people. Like the people who say an asteroid is going to hit Earth in 2036. Those people really tick me off. They’re just con artists, charlatans trying to sell their books.”

In Death From the Skies!: These Are the Ways the World Will End, Plait explores every plausible way that life could come to a screeching halt. “It’s every disaster movie ever made,” says Plait. “It’s every way possible I could think of that the world could be hurt by a catastrophe. I’m writing about complicated topics, but I wanted to make it fun and interesting. It’s really just a fun excuse to talk about real science.” Plait will discuss and sign his new book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Boulder Book Store, 1107 Pearl Street in Boulder.

Admission is free. For more information, call 303-447-2074 or go to
Tue., Oct. 21, 2008

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Mark Dragotta