Meteor Explodes Over Russia With Force Rivaling Nuclear Bomb

Our dangerous solar system
Science • Views: 15,714

After cruising through space for who knows how many millennia, a chunk of rock about 15 meters across plunged into Earth’s atmosphere above the Russian region of Chelyabinsk today and exploded with a force rivaling a nuclear blast, injuring at least 700 people with its shockwave: Russian Meteor Largest in a Century.

A meteor that exploded over Russia this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century, scientists say. Infrasound data collected by a network designed to watch for nuclear weapons testing suggests that today’s blast released hundreds of kilotonnes of energy. That would make it far more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by North Korea just days ago and the largest rock crashing on the planet since a meteor broke up over Siberia’s Tunguska river in 1908.

“It was a very, very powerful event,” says Margaret Campbell-Brown, an astronomer at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, who has studied data from two infrasound stations near the impact site. Her calculations show that the meteoroid was approximately 15 metres across when it entered the atmosphere, and put its mass at around 40 tonnes. “That would make it the biggest object recorded to hit the Earth since Tunguska,” she says.

The meteor appeared at around 09:25 a.m. local time over the region of Chelyabinsk, near the southern Ural Mountains. The fireball blinded drivers and a subsequent explosion blew out windows and damaged hundreds of buildings. So far, more than 700 people are reported to have been injured, mainly from broken glass, according to a statement from the Russian Emergency Ministry.

The unsettling part of the story is that nobody saw it coming — and we probably won’t see the next one either.

Despite its massive size, the object went undetected until it hit the atmosphere. “I’m not aware of anyone who saw this coming,” says Heiner Klinkrad, head of the European Space Agency’s space debris office at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. Although a network of telescopes watches for asteroids that might strike Earth, it is geared towards spotting larger objects — between 100 metres and a kilometre in size.

“Objects like that are nearly impossible to see until a day or two before impact,” says Timothy Spahr, Director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which tracks asteroids and small bodies. So far as he knows, he says, his centre also failed to spot the approaching rock.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
Brandi Carlile - the Joke (Official Video) From the album "By The Way, I Forgive You" available now. elektrar.ec Directed by Danny Clinch Produced by Lindha Narvaez for MILKT Choreography by Peter Leung Ballet sequence filmed by Middle Table Productions Connect with Brandi: brandicarlile.com facebook.com @brandicarlile ...
Thanos
2 hours, 41 minutes ago
Views: 54 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
School Shooter Nikolas Cruz Belonged to White Supremacist GroupThis my surprised face.... BREAKING: Nikolas Cruz, alleged perpetrator in the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, was associated with white supremacist group Republic of Florida & participated in the group’s training exercises, according to the group’s leader. More info: ...
Scottish Dragon
2 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 279 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Your Medicine Cabinet Knows What AIls Youblog.timesunion.com HOFFMAN FILESYour medicine cabinet knows what ails you.By Rob Hoffman on February 15, 2018 at 5:27 AM1We all fancy ourselves experts when it comes to the human condition. We see our fellow human beings as open books, and we ...
rhoffman
2 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 304 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
A.G. Schneiderman Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against the Weinstein Companies, Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed suit against The Weinstein Company (“TWC”), Harvey Weinstein, and Robert Weinstein for egregious violations of New York’s civil rights, human rights, and business laws. The suit, filed ...
Thanos
6 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 792 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 5 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Comments: 0
: 2
Portugal. The Man - Keep on (Official Video) Portugal. The Man - Keep On Video conceptualized, created and directed by Paulin RoguesFollow Paulin at instagram.com Catch Portugal. The Man on tour:portugaltheman.com WOODSTOCK available now!atlantic.lnk.to Follow Portugal. The ManWebsite: portugaltheman.comFB: facebook.com IG: instagram.comTW: @portugalthemanSC: SoundCloudYT: youtube.comTumblr: portugaltheman.tumblr.com ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 938 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Jessica Jones - Season 2 Jessica Jones is back as New York City’s tough-as-nails private investigator. Although this time, the case is even more personal than ever before. Fueled by a myriad of questions and lies, she will do whatever it takes to uncover ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 831 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Deadpool 2 Teaser Trailer - Red Band (2018) Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin The Merc with a Mouth takes a pop at Cable, Toy Story and Justice League in this teaser for the upcoming Deadpool sequel. Watch more entertainment and game trailers here!YouTube Watch the latest from IGN here!YouTube ------------------------------­----Follow IGN for ...
Thanos
1 week ago
Views: 827 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Poll: Number of Conservative-Leaning States Drops to 39 (CN) – The number of conservative-leaning states has dropped from 44 to 39, according to a new Gallup poll released Wednesday. The survey, conducted over a number of polls taken throughout the year, found that 35 percent of Americans ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 954 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Shock Tactics: Why ‘Higher Risk’ Human Targets Get Stunned With Tasers NEW YORK – The maker of the Taser says the electroshock weapon is the safest tool on a police officer’s belt – with a few caveats. In pages of warnings, Axon Enterprise Inc advises police to beware that some ...
Thanos
1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 960 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0