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Youtube video courtesy Alexandr Ivanov Today: 08:42 70 comments

Russian meteorite crash: LIVE UPDATES

An aerial meteorite explosion has wreaked havoc in Russia’s Urals. The blast caused widespread panic, damaged buildings, blew out thousands of windows and lead hundreds to seek medical attention for minor injuries.

Screenshot from YouTube user Gregor Grimm 15.02, 08:36 247 comments

Meteorite hits Russian Urals: Fireball explosion wreaks havoc, up to 1,200 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds have sought medical attention for minor injuries.

The trace of a flying object in the sky over Chelyabinsk (still from a dashboard camera). Photo courtesy of Nakanune.RU.(RIA Novosti / Oleg Vinogradov) 15.02, 17:04 9 comments

'Largest since Tunguska': Chelyabinsk meteorite may take second place for size in over a century

Friday’s meteorite which struck Chelyabinsk carried a mass of around 40 tonnes, possibly making it the largest recorded object to hit the Earth since Tunguska. It was around 15 meters across when it entered the atmosphere, according to one expert.

Video: A collapsed wall at the Chelyabinsk zinc factory after a meteorite fell nearby. Photo: Twitter.com user @varlamov 15.02, 11:47 27 comments

‘Shock and frustration’: Locals report on meteorite crash in Russian Urals (VIDEO)

A meteorite exploding across the skies is quite an unusual wakeup call – many people in the Russian Urals region woke up to this sight on Friday morning. The powerful blast smashed windows and rattled houses, causing widespread panic.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.(RIA Novosti / Alexander Utkin) 15.02, 18:23 87 comments

US tested new weapon, no meteor in Chelyabinsk – Russian LibDem leader

The firebrand Russian Liberal Democrat leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky claims that no meteor fell in the Urals on Friday, but rather the US was testing a new weapon.

Russian meteorite blast explained: Fireball explosion equal to 20 Hiroshimas

Published: 15 February, 2013, 23:10
Edited: 16 February, 2013, 05:40

A Russian policeman works near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013 (Reuters / Chelyabinsk region Interior Ministry)

A Russian policeman works near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013 (Reuters / Chelyabinsk region Interior Ministry)

Russian scientists investigating the meteorite explosion in the Urals explained the nature of the event that caused havoc in the region. NASA meanwhile said that the shockwave from the blast was equivalent to a 300-kiloton explosion.

­The object was identified as a solitary 10-ton bolide by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN). Bolides, or bright fireballs, are large meteors that explode in the lower atmosphere, and unlike meteorite showers they can be dangerous, scientists explained.

The Chelyabinsk fireball entered the atmosphere moving at a speed of about 20 km/s. The object, which was several meters in diameter, then burst into pieces at a height of 30-50 km above the ground, RAN reported.

Three consecutive explosions shattered the meteorite further. Large fragments moving at a high speed caused a powerful flash and a strong shockwave, with most of its energy released at a height of 5 to 15 km above the earth, with the atmosphere absorbing most of that energy.

NASA has estimated the energy released is equivalent to a 300-kiloton explosion, according to Bill Cooke, head of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

­The impact and the sound of the blast reached the ground minutes after the explosion, causing havoc and panic in Chelyabinsk. While most of the object burned down during the fall, the remaining parts showered over the region, possibly adding to the damage and injuries.

The actual power of the blast is still being discussed, with some scientists estimating it as low as 0.1 kilotons and others saying it could be more than 300 kilotons, depending on the height the explosion was registered. Conflicting reports also centered on the trajectory of the falling body.

The combustion products won’t stay in the atmosphere for long, and will soon come down with precipitation, Russian scientists said. The meteorite is believed to have caused no significant pollution, but the elements it emitted could only be identified after studying its fragments, they added. So far, RAN and Emergency services have denied the possibility of radioactive pollution.

MET-7 view (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
MET-7 view (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)

Russian space agency Roscosmos earlier admitted they did not track the meteorite that fell near Chelyabinsk, although several other flybys were detected by Roshydromet overnight. “Our ground facilities and, as I understand, those abroad too did not monitor this celestial body,” the agency spokesman said.

Astronomers around the globe didn’t notice the object coming either, and rushed in search of its traces on satellite images after the news spread.

“Objects like that are nearly impossible to see until a day or two before impact,” Timothy Spahr of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts told Nature Magazine.

Although the meteor was relatively small to detect, some argued its blast was comparable with the power of a nuclear bomb.

According to Canadian astronomer Margaret Campbell-Brown, the blast could be even more powerful than North Korea’s recent nuclear test. Citing the data from two infrasound stations near the impact site, she estimated the object to be 15 meters in diameter with a mass of around 40 tons.

“That would make it the biggest object recorded to hit the Earth since Tunguska,” Campbell-Brown told Nature Magazine.

Most scientists both in Russia and abroad do not believe the Chelyabinsk bolide had anything to do with the asteroid 2012 DA14, which is expected to fly by just hours later.

Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
Weather sattelite Meteosat 10 has taken an image of the meteriote shortly after entering the atmosphere (Copyright 2013 © EUMETSAT)
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rbt (unregistered) February 16, 2013, 09:46
0

It could have been a new weapon the USA is testing. They can think of every conceivable, destructive weapon imaginable to kill people with. Would they use the money to improve people's health, education, for jobs, housing, etc.? Of course not.

Calling Calling Yakutian Axman (unregistered) February 16, 2013, 08:18
0

RECEIVED

twinkle twinkle little star (unregistered) February 16, 2013, 08:01
0

This proves that astronomy doesn't have a grip on this planets security and astronomical cameras are not good enough.  Couple the development of a finance mechanism to build astronomical cameras and missing utilities and don't speak too loud.