Its well known that on June 30th, 1908, the city of Paris, at the time capitol of France, was effectively destroyed by the explosion of what is believed to have been a meteor. However, that meteor could easily have hit elsewhere, by interaction with the gravity of other objects in space. Even a tiny change in trajectory could have had it hit as far away as Siberia, or miss the Earth, entirely. Lets say that that deviation did occur, and the meteor hit some remote, mostly uninhabited region. Would astronomers, and later rocket scientists, have gotten the budgets that they did in OTL? Would we still have spent so much time and money, searching for hostile extra-terrestrial intelligences, and ways to defend against them? (OOC: War of the Worlds was published ten years before, and was quite popular, so this could have happened.) How different would the Great War have been, without that fear distracting the Great Powers? (OOC: Europe was enough of a powder keg at the time, that I think something like WWI would still have happened.) Could Paris have continued to be the cultural centre of Europe, or would that title still have been split between London and Berlin?