A meteoroid fell to Earth on February 15, streaking some 20 to 30 kilometers
above the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia at 9:20am local time. Initially traveling
at about 20 kilometers per second, its explosive deceleration after impact
with the lower atmosphere created a flash brighter than the Sun. This picture
of the brilliant bolide (and others of its persistent trail) was captured
by photographer Marat Ametvaleev, surprised during his morning sunrise
session creating panoramic images of the nearby frosty landscape. An estimated
500 kilotons of energy was released by the explosion of the 17 meter wide
space rock with a mass of 7,000 to 10,000 tons. Actually expected to occur
on average once every 100 years, the magnitude of the Chelyabinsk event
is the largest known since the Tunguska impact in 1908.
Russian meteor explosion: Spectacular dash cam video of meteorite fireball
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.
The Great Russian Meteor of 2013
What in heaven's blazes is that? Thousands of people living near the Ural
Mountains in Russia saw last Friday morning one of the more spectacular
meteors of modern times streak across the sky. Forceful sound waves arrived
at the ground minutes later, knocking people over and breaking windows
for hundreds of kilometers. The above video is a compilation of several
car dashcams and includes real time footage of the meteor rampaging, smoke
trails drifting, shadows quickly shifting, and even the meteor's light
reflecting off the back of a bus. The fireball is thought to have been
caused by a car-sized chunk of ice and rock crashing into the Earth's atmosphere.
Since the event was captured from so many angles, the meteor's trajectory
has become determined well enough to indicate from where it came and to
where any resultant pieces might have landed. It is already certain that
this meteor had nothing to do with the several-times larger asteroid 2012
DA14 which passed the Earth from a different direction later the same day.
If pieces of the meteor are found, they might tell humanity more about
the early Solar System, when the meteor was likely formed.
ScienceCasts: What Exploded Over Russia?
Two weeks after an asteroid exploded over Russia's Ural mountains, scientists are making progress understanding the origin and make-up of the unexpected space rock.