Meteorite hits Russian Urals, 1,000 injuredMeteorite hits Russian Urals, 400 injured
Feb 15, 2013 Meteor in central Russia injures hundreds. It suddenly became as bright as if it was day!
Fireballs crash to Earth, smashing windows and setting off car alarms; officials say around 400 hurt, mostly from broken glass.
Russian Urals region rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows and rocked buildings.
Hundreds are seeking medical attention, mostly minor cuts and bruises but some received head injuries.
A fireball was seen streaking through the sky above the city of Yekaterinburg, followed by loud bangs.
The meteor is believed to have landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in the neighbouring Chelyabinsk region.
The Chelyabinsk region, about 1,500km (930 miles) east of Moscow, is home to many factories, a nuclear power plant and the Mayak atomic waste storage and treatment centre.
Hundreds injured as meteor fireball screams across the sky in Russia
2/15/13 A huge meteorite flared through the skies over Russia's Chelyabinsk region early Friday, triggering a powerful shock wave that injured hundreds of people, blew out windows and reportedly caused the roof of a factory to collapse.
Multiple amateur videos posted online showed the meteor’s flaring arc across the western Siberia sky. Others from the scene included the sound of a loud boom, followed by a cacophony of car alarms. One video showed the hurried evacuation of an office building in Chelyabinsk.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” Chelyabinsk resident Sergey Hametov told The Associated Press. “We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound.”
Another resident described a “flash” in the sky.
"I was standing at a bus stop, seeing off my girlfriend," Andrei, a local resident who did not give his second name, told Reuters. "Then there was a flash and I saw a trail of smoke across the sky and felt a shock wave that smashed windows."
Russia's Emergencies Ministry said 514 people had sought medical help, mainly for light injuries caused by flying glass, and that 112 of those were hospitalized.
The meteor, which was reportedly 10 tons, cut a blazing ribbon across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake that could be seen 125 miles (200 kilometers) away in Yekaterinburg. The Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement that the space rock entered Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000 mph, according to the AP. Some authorities in Russia, however, have said that the event was a meteor shower, and not a single meteor.
"Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite [shower]," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted an emergency official as saying. "We have information about a blast at 10,000-meter (32,800-foot) altitude."
As many as 10,000 police have been mobilized to aid in recovery and to remove debris from the meteorite, which has been found in three areas around the Chelyabinsk region, according to the ITAR-Tass news agency. Military spokesman Yarslavl Roshupkin told the news agency that a 20-foot-wide crater was found that could be the result of meteor fragments.
The interior ministry said the shock wave caused the roof of a zinc factory's warehouse to collapse, but that no fatalities were reported.
In Russia and around the world, observers marveled at the fireball and its aftermath.
It was a once in a decade event, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, told TODAY on Friday, saying the impact was the physics equivalent of hitting a brick wall. When you hit a brick wall, you basically explode, and that’s what happened here, and it exploded in midair,” Tyson said.
"There have never been any cases of meteorites breaking up at such a low level over Russia before," said Yuri Burenko, head of the Chelyabinsk branch of the Emergencies Ministry.
There have been no significant disturbances to public utilities or communications, Vladimir Stepanov of the Emergency Situation Ministry told ITAR-Tass. “No serious consequences have been so far recorded,” Stepanov said, according to the news agency. “There has been no disruption in the rail and air transport work.
The fireball reports spread just hours before a 150-foot-wide asteroid was due to make a close flyby, coming within 17,200 miles of Earth. It's unlikely that there's any connection between the fireball and the encounter asteroid, known as 2012 DA14. However, a bright flash and explosion in midair would be consistent with the atmospheric entry and breakup of a large meteoroid.
If 2012 DA14 were to hit Earth, the scenario might play out in a similar way, but with a far more powerful impact. The European Space Agency posted a message on its Twitter account saying that there was no link between the Russian meteor and asteroid 2012 DA14.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 will not impact Earth, but if another asteroid of a size similar to that of 2012 DA14 (about 150 feet across) were to impact Earth, it would release approximately 2.5 megatons of energy in the atmosphere and would be expected to cause regional devastation,” NASA said in a statement on its website.
In 1908, a massive explosion shook a remote region of Siberia and knocked down millions of trees over an 820-square-mile area. Experts concluded that the blast, known as the Tunguska event, was caused by the midair explosion of a 150-foot-wide asteroid falling to Earth.
This is the first time that I can recall a meteorite doing this right before everyone's eyes. In times past, including recent years, these explosions would happen but would end up being a big mystery over what happened.
Meteorite explodes over Russia, more than 1,000 injured
A meteorite streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, raining fireballs over a vast area and causing a shock wave that smashed windows, damaged buildings and injured 1,200 people.
People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt the shock wave, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.
The fireball, travelling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second according to Russian space agency Roscosmos, had blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail that could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away.
Car alarms went off, thousands of windows shattered and mobile phone networks were disrupted. The Interior Ministry said the meteorite explosion, a very rare spectacle, also unleashed a sonic boom.
Russian “Meteor”… Possible US Excalibur Weapon
theorists have suggested that the object may not have been a meteor at all and could have been a satellite that was shot down, or some form of kinetic bombardment weapon aimed at Russia.
The latter theory seems to have stemmed from comments made by Russian nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who claimed that the flashes and sonic booms witnessed were the results of a secret US weapons test.
Russian Meteor Blast Bigger Than Thought, NASA Says
2/16/13 The meteor that exploded over Russia Friday was slightly larger than previously thought and more powerful, too, NASA scientists say.
The Russian meteor explosion over the city of Chelyabinsk, on Friday (Feb. 15), injured more than 1,000 people and blew out windows across the region in a massive blast captured on cameras by frightened witnesses. Friday afternoon, NASA scientists estimated the meteor was space rock about 50 feet (15 meters) and sparked a blast equivalent of a 300-kiloton explosion. The energy estimate was later increased to 470 kilotons.
But late Friday, NASA revised its estimates on the size and power of the devastating meteor explosion. The meteor's size is now thought to be slightly larger — about 55 feet (17 m) wide — with the power of the blast estimate of about 500 kilotons, 30 kilotons higher than before, NASA officials said in a statement. [See video of the intense meteor explosion]
The meteor was also substantially more massive than thought as well. Initial estimated pegged the space rock's mass at about 7,000 tons. Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., now say the meteor weighed about 10,000 tons and was travelling 40,000 mph (64,373 km/h) when it exploded.
Fireball from outer space
1,000 injured as 40-ton meteor travelling at 33,000mph explodes over a terrified town
Large object flashed across the sky at 9.20am local time
Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames
82 of the injured are children and two are in intensive care
Landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a neighbouring town
6,000 square feet of a roof at a zinc factory collapsed
One local said it 'was like a scene from the Armageddon movie'
Some feared a plane was about to fall out of the sky while others thought the world was ending.
In fact, it was a meteor streaking across the sky before exploding in a fireball brighter than the sun.
The terrifying sight was caught in these astonishing pictures by residents of central Russia as they headed to work.
GREAT PHOTOS, VIDEOS!
United Nations Reviewing Asteroid Impact Threat
2/17/13 The Russian fireball and the close flyby of the asteroid 2012 DA14 on Friday (Feb. 15) came at a moment in time when the United Nations is discussing international response to the near-Earth object impact concern.
Detailed discussions about the Russian meteor explosion and Earth's encounter with asteroid 2012 DA14 were high on the Feb. 15 agenda of Action Team-14 during the 50th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), being held from Feb. 11 to 22 at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna.
The multi-year work of Action Team-14 (AT-14) is focused on pushing forward on an international response to the impact threat of asteroids and other near-Earth objects (NEOs).
Up for discussion at the Vienna gathering is the report: "Near-Earth Objects, 2011-2012, Recommendations of the Action Team on Near-Earth Objects for an International Response to the Near-Earth Object Impact Threat." [See video of the Russian meteor explosion]
Russian Fireball Won't Be Last Surprise Asteroid Attack
2/16/13 The world will have to live with surprise asteroid attacks on the scale of Friday's Russian fireball, at least for a while.
The meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk without warning Friday (Feb. 15), damaging hundreds of buildings and wounding more than 1,000 people, was caused by a space rock about 50 feet (15 meters) wide, researchers said.
Asteroids of this size are both difficult to detect and incredibly numerous, so it will take a long time for astronomers to find and map out the orbits of all the potentially dangerous ones. Besides, researchers have bigger fish to fry.
"Defending the Earth against tiny asteroids such as the one that passed over Siberia and impacted there is a challenging issue that is something that is not currently our goal," Paul Chodas, a scientist with the Near Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., told reporters Friday (Feb. 15). [Meteor Blast Over Russia Feb. 15: Complete Coverage]
Divers find Russian meteorite craters in Chebarkul Lake
February 27, 2013 Divers searching Chebarkul Lake in Russia’s Urals region have found several craters that may be the impact zones of fragments of the now-famous meteorite that exploded over the area on February 15. The divers used powerful lights and probes to uncover several potential sites where meteorite fragments may have landed.
Some fragments of the meteorite were retrieved in the Chelyabinsk region, which endured the bulk of the spectacular cosmic event. The biggest meteorite chunk discovered was about 1 kilogram. It is hoped that the fragments inside the lake could be much bigger, weighing dozens of kilograms.
Russian scientists find meteor fragments in Urals region
02.18.13 Urals Federal University scientists in Russia have notified that they managed to find fragments around a frozen lake near Chebarkul, a town in the Chelyabinsk region, where the meteorite evidently landed.
An official university announcement stated that the one of the materials of which the meteor is comprised is iron.
Russia Goes On High Alert After UFO Shoot-Down Injures Hundreds
February 15, 2013 By Sorcha Faal
Russian air defense units operating in “high alert” status, and located at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk, fired at and destroyed an “unidentified cosmic object” at an altitude of 20 kilometers which then exploded causing widespread massive damage and injuring over 500 people.
Chelyabinsk, one of the nation’s most vital industrial centers, is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of the oblast, 210 kilometers (130 mi) south of Yekaterinburg, just to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the Miass River, on the border of Europe and Asia, with a population of 1.3 million.
The air defence unit attacking this UFO used an S-400 ‘Triumph’ system ordered to Russia’s borders this past fall by President Putin.
The S-400 Triumph is a next-generation anti-aircraft weapon system capable of firing three different missile types. The system was designed to intercept and destroy jamming planes, radar planes, reconnaissance aircraft, strategic carriers, cruise missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Russian military analysts report that the Triumph is capable of tracking more than 100 targets simultaneously at ranges of over 600 kilometers (370 miles), and destroying up to 12 targets at varying distances.
The heightened alert status of the air defense unit that fired on the UFO, this report continues, was due to Prime Minister Medvedev’s speaking at an economic forum held in the neighboring Krasnoyarsk region, and is always the case in such situations to protect Russian political and military leaders.
Police in the Chelyabinsk region, RT news reports, were ordered on high alert after this UFO shoot-down and have begun ‘Operation Fortress’ in order to protect vital infrastructure and residents were being urged by authorities to pick up their children from school and remain at home if possible.
As over 20,000 Russian military forces swarm the Chelyabinsk region, this VKS report says, regional Emergency Ministry officials were quoted as saying the phenomenon was a meteorite shower.
Locals, however, have speculated that it was a military fighter jet crash or a missile explosion and residents of the town of Emanzhilinsk, some 50 kilometers from Chelyabinsk, reported that they saw a flying object that suddenly burst into flames, broke apart and fell to earth, and that a black cloud had been seen hanging above the town and witnesses in Chelyabinsk are now reporting that the city’s air “smells like gunpowder”.
Most ominous to note in this VKS report is its stating that the “unidentified cosmic object” fired upon and destroyed over Chelyabinsk “accelerated” into our Earth’s atmosphere from a track “exactly similar” to that of Asteroid 2012 DA14 which is scheduled to make its closest approach to our planet today and that will see this 130,000 metric ton space rock come within 27,700 kilometers of our planet – which is around 1/13th the Earth-Moon distance.
TRIUMPH was the name of the disabled Carnival cruise ship Feb 2013