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February 15, 2013
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Source: news.uk.msn.com/world/1100-hur…


A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people.

Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows, curious about what had produced such a blinding flash of light. The meteor - estimated to be about 10 tons - entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000kph (33,000mph) and shattered into pieces about 30-50 kilometres (18-32 miles) above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Amateur video showed an object speeding across the sky just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.

"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening," said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of one million about 1,500 kilometres (930 miles) east of Moscow. "We saw a big burst of light, then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud, thundering sound," he said.

The meteor hit less than a day before asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass by the Earth for a rock of its size - about 28,000 kilometres (17,150 miles). But the European Space Agency said its experts had determined there was no connection - just cosmic coincidence.

The meteor released several kilotons of energy above the region, the Russian science academy said. According to NASA, it was about 15 metres (49 feet) wide before it hit the atmosphere, about one-third the size of the passing asteroid.

Some meteorite fragments fell in a reservoir outside the town of Chebarkul. The crash left an eight-metre (26-foot)-wide crater in the ice. The shock wave blew in an estimated 100,000 square metres (more than 1 million square feet) of glass, according to city officials, who said 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged. At one zinc factory, part of the roof collapsed.

The Interior Ministry said about 1,100 people sought medical care after the shock wave and 48 of them were admitted to hospital. Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass, officials said.

Meteors typically cause sizeable sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are travelling so much faster than the speed of sound. Injuries on the scale reported, however, are extraordinarily rare.

Jim Green, NASA's director of planetary science, called the back-to-back celestial events an amazing display. "This is indeed very rare and it is historic," he said on NASA TV. "These fireballs happen about once a day or so, but we just don't see them because many of them fall over the ocean or in remote areas. "



Big asteroid to narrowly miss Earth

(Source: news.uk.msn.com/odd-news/big-a…

An asteroid big enough to flatten London will narrowly miss the Earth on Friday, scientists have said.

Experts believe there is no chance of the 150ft-wide space rock hitting the planet reassuringly, but it could come as close as 17,200 miles - placing it within the orbits of more than 100 telecommunication and weather satellites.

The asteroid, given the catchy name 2012 DA14, has been closely tracked since its discovery by a Spanish observatory a year ago. It is predicted to reach its nearest point to Earth at around 7.30pm UK time. Sky watchers have been told that given clear skies they should be able to track the rock climbing in the north-eastern sky from anywhere in the UK.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "It will be possible to see it if you know where to look, but just waving your binoculars in the right general direction isn't going to work. The asteroid will be a faint dot of light moving at a steady rate between the stars. It'll be thousands of times fainter than Jupiter and 250 times fainter than the stars of the Plough.

"The trick will be to find the area in advance and wait for it to come through. You can use the star maps to find exactly the right part of the sky. If you hold your binoculars steady you will see this tiny point of light crawling across your field of view in about seven or eight minutes.

"It's not easy, but you will have the thrill of knowing you are seeing a little object in space the size of an office block."

DA14 will take two hours to travel between the constellations of Leo and the Plough from 8pm. Travelling at between 12,427mph (20,000kph) and 18,641mph (30,000kph) - around five miles (8km) a second, or eight times the speed of a rifle bullet - the asteroid will fly inside the orbits of high geostationary satellites some 22,000 miles (35,406km) above the Earth.

Astronomer and asteroid expert Dr Dan Brown, from Nottingham Trent University, said: "There are loads of them but you're talking about a very big area. It would be very unlucky if a satellite was hit. The asteroid is more likely to hit some space junk, but most of this is only about a centimetre across and the impact won't even be noticed."

Precise calculations show there is absolutely no possibility of DA14 hitting the Earth. But scientists have a good idea of what the effect of such an impact would be because a similar-sized meteor devastated a remote region of Siberia in 1908.

Exploding a short distance above the ground over Tunguska, the object generated a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Forest was completely flattened over an area of 830 square miles (2,150 sq km).
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:iconveterilu:
VeTeRiLu Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
yep, curiously I was in FB when I heard the news...

tragedy and wonder

reminds us how fragile we are
Reply
:iconangelghidorah:
AngelGhidorah Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
FB?
Reply
:iconveterilu:
VeTeRiLu Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013
^^; hee facebook
Reply
:iconangelghidorah:
AngelGhidorah Featured By Owner May 9, 2013
I see.
Reply
:iconinomyoursoul:
INomYourSoul Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
my science teacher showed us this! man, just the thought of the meteorite scares me...
Reply
:iconangelghidorah:
AngelGhidorah Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
I'm not surprised. Imagine if it had hit a more populated place.
Reply
:iconssj3gohan007:
ssj3gohan007 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just heard about that. I am surprised no one was killed.
Reply
:iconangelghidorah:
AngelGhidorah Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I think some were killed.
Reply
:iconssj3gohan007:
ssj3gohan007 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really? Strange, my informant said that there were no casualties.
Reply
:iconangelghidorah:
AngelGhidorah Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
I think some died.
Reply
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