ASK TOM WHY: What would be a Perseid-related impact on either astronauts or a permanent base on the moon?

Dear Tom,

Regarding the Perseid meteor shower last August, what would be a Perseid-related impact (no pun intended) on either astronauts or a permanent base on the moon?

Dennis McGann, New Lenox

Dear Dennis,

Astronomer Dan Joyce tells us, “Perseids meteorites have a velocity relative to the Earth-moon system of 37 miles per second. Despite this, they have never had any adverse effect on astronauts. They would also not be expected to cause any harm to a moon base because such bases would be mostly underground, with just solar panels and communication devices sticking out.” The danger to astronauts and underground moon bases would come from larger rogue meteorites from sources other than Perseids, but one task of habitations would be to detect them early enough that action could be taken to avert disaster.

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