Huge Meteorite Tears Through Russia; Injures 400 (#RussianMeteorite)
A terrifically impressive meteorite object skimmed last night through Russian skies.
Initial reports pegged the glowing ball as a huge meteorite , but speculation lingers over what exactly it may have been.
The object exploded over Eastern Russia , near the Ural mountains, on Friday morning.
The BBC reports the blast was so intense that windows were blown from homes, and cars causing injuries to at least 400 people.
Here’s what the scene looks like in the aftermath:
— moonbird (@moonbird) February 15, 2013
RT.com reports: Lifenews tabloid said that at least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk. According to preliminary reports, it crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the city’s Internet and mobile service. Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.It made a bright streak through the sky and a huge boom when it exploded. Here’s a stunning video of it shining bright as it falls through the atmosphere: There’s a ton more videos on YouTube. This compilation video is pretty great. Officials told Reuters that the object exploded at about 32,000 feet above the Earth. The BadAstronomer, aka Phil Plait, warns that these things get faked all the time, but he seems convinced that this is for real. I agree, seeing so many different videos of the event that all look the same. He says it’s most likely unrelated to the asteroid DA14 that will pass by Earth tomorrow.
This video shows a shockwave about 20 seconds in, which Plait says is from the meteoroid hitting Earth’s atmosphere, not the actual explosion:
Here’s another video with the explosion. Pretty intense!
The meteor seems to have exploded in the sky, before hitting the Earth:
NEIC shows no earthquakes in that area of Russia, so this did not hit the ground. #RussianMeteor
— Adam (@mycroft16) February 15, 2013
And one note for those perusing the YouTube videos. A video of a burning crater is making the rounds, but that’s actually from the “Door To Hell” in Turkmenistan. Here’s a whole gallery of images of the burning crater. It is totally unrelated to today’s meteor.
It was right about the same time of day 105 years ago near the Tunguska River in Siberia when a 330 foot meteor seared through the sky and leveled 80 million trees over 800 square miles.
That asteroid was believed to have been 1,000 times more destructive than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Tunguska after a 1908 meter 330 feet wide passed overhead in Siberia