Meteorite in Russia

Has there ever been a case of mass injuries from a meteorite before? Not that I am aware of.

A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 500 people, many of them hurt by broken glass.

“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, about 930 miles east of Moscow, the biggest city in the affected region.

“We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound,” he told The Associated Press by telephone.

Pretty damned spooky when you consider that the world is expecting a close asteroid flyby later today.

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22 Responses to Meteorite in Russia

  1. notamobster says:

    Ever wonder what it’d be like if NASA’s calculations were off and that sucker hit us.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I read that the one that is scooting by today would be like a massive nuke many times greater than Hiroshima but it wouldn’t be a planet killer.

  2. notamobster says:

    Okay, math & space nerds, serious question alert.

    How much deviation would a large asteroid have (if any) were it to strike a satellite in high geostationary orbit? Given the mass of the thing and the speed it’s travelling, most of the force from an impact would be transferred to the satellite, but if something broke off, is there enough room to cause the broken chunk to deviate from it’s flight path, with enough room (23,000 miles+/-) and strike the earth?

    NASA will be live blogging the event, with video & tracking.

  3. dukkaA says:

    I heard if it hit would leave a crater simular to the size of the one in Arizona. Definitely a city destroyer.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I think that is correct except, unlike the metallic meteorite that hit Arizona, this is a stony asteroid. Therefore, it would likely explode in an airburst like the smaller one in Russia. A hell of a blast that would level a city to rubble, but no crater.

      • dukkaA says:

        Thought thought of a huge piece of rock and/or metal hurtling at 17,000mph+ is nothing to f**k around with. The really crazy thing is they are only able to track at the most 1% of them. Sounds like we’re long over due.

  4. Jim22 says:

    One of the two things I learned in school was that the difference between a meteor and a meteorite is that a meteorite has landed.

    The one in Russia broke up miles above the Earth’s surface so it would be properly called a meteor.

    • RJ says:

      just wondering when does an astroid become a meteor?

      • R.D. Walker says:

        It becomes a meteor when it enters the atmosphere. It becomes a meteorite when it enters the ground.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      “The one in Russia broke up miles above the Earth’s surface so it would be properly called a meteor.”

      No sir. I read reports that they are already collecting fragments of it on the ground. Those pieces, at least, are meteorites.

      If the report that fragments are being collected turns out to be false, then it is, indeed, a meteor and not a meteorite.

      • Jim22 says:

        If that’s the case you are exactly right, RD.

        It rubs me the wrong way when ignorant news people use words incorrectly. Every report I have seen of this incident uses the words ‘Meteor’ and ‘Meteorite’ interchangeably.

        Oh, well. It’s a small thing.

  5. RJ says:

    thanks, my HS science class like my spelling lessons are long gone I had forgotten the specifics.

    I imagine driving down the road and seeing that thing streaking across the sky with no forewarning, that had to be a serious WTF was that moment.

  6. Rich says:

    Astrophysics is not my thing, but that object was much bigger before it passed through the earth’s atmosphere. It was also moving much faster.

    So, I expect that if such object had struck a man made device/detrius before hitting the earth’s atmosphere, any such device/detrius would be obliterated into insignificant pieces by the object’s mass and velocity.

    And yes, I am talking about ANY man-made satellite. All gone … blown to insignificant bits.