In the original book, the classic 1962 movie and the modern 2001 re-make for TV. The store "The day of the Triffits" depicts a meteor shower that happen all around the Earth at the same time, and leaves everyone who sees it blind the following days.

Given the nature of how the Earth rotates, moves around the Sun and a meteor field (required to create a shower of many meteorites). Is it really possible for such an event to happen everywhere at the same time?

This is kind of an important plot in the story, because if one side of the planet goes blind first they can warn the other.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very, very, very unlikely. Technically possible I suppose, but alarmingly unlikely. $\endgroup$
    – Logan
    Jun 6, 2016 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


Realistically, no, that cannot happen. Most meteor showers that we experience on Earth - the most famous being the Perseids and the Leonids - are a result of comets passing roughly through our orbit and leaving behind debris that was burned off as the comet passed by the Sun. We then come along, sweeping through this debris and from our perspective on Earth, we see a shower of meteors raining down on us.

That implies two important things. First, we primarily see meteors as we sweep through the debris from comets. They are not objects which have made a trajectory for Earth and hit us head on. Second, we only see meteors when we're on the side of the planet facing the orbital direction of the Earth.

That being said, for the sake of the story, one could envision an alien race of sufficiently advanced technology surrounding our planet with asteroid and comet debris and subsequently "dropping" these meteroids on us from everywhere all at once. I'm not sure if aliens are involved in the story you've linked, but aside from third party intervention, there's now way you're going to see meteors from every place on Earth all at the same time.

  • $\begingroup$ Can this happen in case a big meteorite strikes earth and debris ejected into space during impact, reenters earth's atmosphere which feels like meteor shower all across globe? $\endgroup$
    – Knu8
    Jun 3, 2016 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ That is really unlikely. In order for a meteor fragment to get knocked back up out of the atmosphere and come down elsewhere, it needs enormous energy. Each ejecta is only going to have a fraction of the energy of the impacting body, so the impacting body needs obscene energy. Such a cataclysmic impact would destroy all life on the planet. $\endgroup$
    – zephyr
    Jun 4, 2016 at 3:39
  • $\begingroup$ Tektites (glass droplets thrown out by an asteroid impact) are found all over Earth originating from the (for example) Chicxulub impact that may have wiped out the dinosaurs. It is theorised these tektites would have started global wildfires. So Knu8's scenario is possible without wiping out all life. adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1992LPSC...22...87S $\endgroup$
    – Ags1
    May 15, 2018 at 11:08

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