Largest meteor in a century.

A meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the earth in more than a century, [url=http://www.nature.com/news/russian-meteor-largest-in-a-century-1.12438]Nature reports[/url]. Infrasound data collected by a network designed to watch for nuclear weapons testing suggests that today's blast released hundreds of kilotons of energy. That would make it far more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by North Korea just days ago, and the largest rock to strike the earth since a meteor broke up over Siberia's Tunguska river in 1908. Despite its incredible power, the rock evaded detection by astronomers. Estimates show it was likely only 15 meters across — too small to be seen by networks searching for near earth asteroids.

Another video:

видео вспышки над челябинском 15.02.2013.avi

Some estimates say that we get hit by 100 tonnes of stuff per day, most of it dust size, luckily.

Oh that was just Optimus Prime.

it would’ve been nice if it’d impacted the Korean nuclear site: double whammy! >:D

Goodness, are all Russians this stoic? I would’ve [email protected] myself with excitement!

Once you have seen the Soviet Union fall, the sky falling is a minor event by comparison. :slight_smile:

Ja, I guess they’ll just pour a few rounds of potato brandy, and get on with it. :slight_smile:

The meteor was suppose to impact on the Mayan Apocalypse in December. But because the postal
service in Russia is so bad it got delivered late.

But I’ve always hoped to see something like this. I’m just sorry some people got hurt.
If that rock was just a bit bigger or more metallic, I shudder to think what would have happened.

I’m glad people merely got hurt, because:

If that rock was just a bit bigger or more metallic, I shudder to think what would have happened.

Exactly.

But it would be really cool if a sizable one, like the one that made Tswaing crater, were to fall in some unpopulated part of a desert.

I think it was in Arthur C Clarke’s “Rendevouz with Rama” that a very sizable asteroid wipes out a fair portion of Italy, priceless art treasures and all, which serves as major wake-up call for humanity to really begin monitoring the skies. Then they discover what initially looks like a large asteroid, but turns out to be a huge spaceship, heading for the inner solar system…

As always, Clarke was prescient: we ARE now discovering and monitoring at least the larger near-Earth asteroids, but we are still missing smaller ones that could cause major damage if they were to hit a city. I have a feeling though that asteroid discovery and monitoring may now get a little cash injection.

As long as we knew about it before so we could have lots of camera’s in the area. But I doubt anybody would take the chance and they would try deflect it long before that.

But yes I think we should see NEO research have a stronger case for funding now.

Question for astronomy buffs:
Asteroid 2012 DA14 flew by earcth on Friday.
I understand that there is no correlation between the meteor disintegration over Russia and the asteroid flyby.

How can Astronomers be so sure? Could the meteor not have been traveling with the Asteroid in its sphere of gravitational influence?

They ere on totally different paths.

Hi Tweefo,

Thanks :slight_smile:

I found:

In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north."

I see they say the chances for what happened is 1 in a 100 million so we can count our selves very lucky.

This did not prevent a professor in history from thinking a fireball he saw a week earlier in the Karoo was the asteroid:

http://www.rapport.co.za/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Vier-glo-hul-sien-DA14-vroeer-20130216 {Frustration alert: the article is in Afrikaans}

The article is badly written, and the prof and his pals are frickin’ pig-ignorant. Or so I thought, and wrote in the comments. But apparently I am the one who misunderstands. There is so much I have to learn.

The lucky thing here is that the russians love their dash cameras. Aparently it’s really easy to bribe cops into taking your side in accident cases, so a big whack of their populace drives around with cameras running all the time, in case they need evidence against another motorist. Go search for accident videos on youtube and you’ll soon realise it’s almost all Russian.

I’ve seen lots of little streaks over the years but one evening, probably about a year ago, I was standing outside having a smoke and saw a very brilliant longish-lasting streak of burning rock hurtling through the atmosphere. I was pumped for days, it really is something to behold. To tell the truth I was a bit surprised no-one else even noticed it.

I have seen a few fireballs over the years. The last one scared me, because it kept on getting brighter and brighter, and I began to have visions of the Cretaceous event before it fizzled out.

Indeed absolutely spectacular things. The Russian one was VERY spectacular: it has now been estimated at 300 kilotons, i.e. almost twenty times as powerful as the Hiroshima nuclear bomb.

Yikes! We’d better get our act together with NEO research…

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