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  Meteor falls in Russian Urals (Feb. 15, 2013)

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Author Topic:   Meteor falls in Russian Urals (Feb. 15, 2013)
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 12:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Russian officials have confirmed a meteor fall in the Chelyabinsk region, some 930 miles (1,500 km) east of Moscow, the Associated Press has reported.
A spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry, Vadim Kolesnikov, said the Friday morning fall caused a blast that broke windows.

There were no immediate confirmed reports of injuries, but Russian news agencies cited unnamed sources as saying several people were injured at a school in a thinly populated part of the region, which is on the eastern edge of the Ural Mountains.

Russia Today (RT): Meteorite crash in Russia: UFO fears spark panic in the Urals

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 12:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A Russian LiveJournal user has posted what supposedly is significant damage to a building from where the meteor fell.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 01:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Associated Press, citing Russia's Emergency Ministry, further reports that about 100 people were injured by the explosion set off by the meteor.
Interior Ministry spokesman Vadim Kolesnikov said 102 people had called for medical assistance following the incident, mostly for treatment of injuries from glass broken by the explosions.

Kolsenikov also said about 600 square meters (6,000 square feet) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.

Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry, Irina Rossius, told The Associated Press that there was a meteor shower, but another ministry spokeswoman, Elena Smirnikh, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying it was a single meteorite.

dom
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posted 02-15-2013 02:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Shades of 1908 Tunguska impact all over again. Thank God Siberia is so large that it takes many of these cosmic hits!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 02:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a (slow) drive-by video of the damage to the zinc factory:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 02:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just to be clear, the European Space Agency (among others) has confirmed there is no connection between this meteor and the close flyby of Asteroid 2012 DA14, which coincidentally will also take place today (Feb. 15).

Apollo14LMP
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posted 02-15-2013 03:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A big coincidence,

Coincidentally I'm 50 today... never seen an asteroid pass as close as DA2014 and then this happens.

Robert do you agree this is nothing more than coincidence? I'm skeptical. Not seen the likes of this before.

Tykeanaut
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posted 02-15-2013 03:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Tykeanaut   Click Here to Email Tykeanaut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could a small piece have broken off Asteroid 2012 DA14?

Apollo14LMP
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posted 02-15-2013 04:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think so... they're saying it isn't - I feel it is all too much of a coincidence.

I completed my degree with a paper on NEO impacts and this seems to be something travelling with DA2014 in my mind.

When did anyone see this happen in their lifetime?

Lots of injuries, some serious being reported... which is very sad news. Some people seriously hurt.

Bear in mind that there are nuclear power plants in that region though they are reportedly undamaged.

spaced out
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posted 02-15-2013 05:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Coincidences do happen and meteorites fall every day, it's just that most are small or go unnoticed.

I could be wrong but I believe in this case the Russian meteor was traveling in an entirely different direction to the path of DA14. It's totally unrelated.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, this appears to have been a coincidence. To quote Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy:
For one thing, this [meteor] occurred about 16 hours before DA14 passes. At 8 kilometers per second that's nearly half a million kilometers away from DA14. That puts it on a totally different orbit.
There's also the direction the meteor was traveling — 
From the lighting, time of day, and videos showing the rising Sun, it looks like this was moving mostly east-to-west. ...DA14 is approaching Earth from the south, so any fragment of that rock would also appear to move south-to-north.
NASA Don Yeomans, the head of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office, told SPACE.com the same about why the two events are unrelated.

cspg
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posted 02-15-2013 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hollywood will have to review the actual effects of a meteor fall for their future end-of-the-world movies (Deep Impact, Armageddon). The noise this meteor made is a lot scarier than what had been portrayed in the movies...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Keep in mind what the sound is that you're listening to: as best understood now, it is not the impact of the meteorite (if such an impact even took place) but a sonic boom from the shockwave created by the meteoroid entering the Earth's atmosphere. (It could also be the sound of the meteor exploding, but reports are still so varied that it is not clear if it broke apart or not.)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The European weather satellite Meteosat-9 caught the train — the technical term for the trail — of the meteor. North is up, west to the left. (Video via Bad Astronomy)

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 11:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This video shows what is described as one of the impact points for the meteor (fragments), Lake Chebarkul:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Indeed, this appears to have been a coincidence.
An update from NASA:
According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point. 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.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-15-2013 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Further details, via NASA:
It's the largest reported meteor since the Tunguska event. Impact was at 3:20:26 UTC. The meteor was 15 meters in size prior to the Earth's atmosphere, larger than one over Indonesia on Oct. 8, 2009 & one-third of the size of Asteroid 2012 DA14. It grazed across the atmosphere, where the meteor trail was visible for less than 30 seconds. The meteor was also brighter than the Sun.

spaced out
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posted 02-15-2013 01:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Beautiful images of the train in this video which seems to have been taken from virtually underneath the path:

This one gives a good impression of the force of the shockwave as it hits:

p51
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posted 02-15-2013 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Several years ago (pre-9/11) when I was still an Army officer, I was at a government conference that pretty much covered "worse case scenarios" and how we'd react them.

The one that really kept me awake at nights for a long time afterward was our reactions to a pandemic, but a close second what a discussion on NEOs with DARPA and some NASA folks and other agencies. We were told pointblank that you could easily expect a decent sized object to just 'show up' in the sky one day and plopping down somewhere, totally unannounced.

The NASA rep admitted that there's no way to track all these smaller objects and that often they hit the Earth in places where nobody saw them (in the open ocean, in uninhabited jungles, or in open deserts) and you wouldn't see any evidence afterward. He said that he thought there'd been several Tunguska like events since 1908 but nobody ever reported them due to remote locations. One person on the panel said that we should each expect to at least hear of one event like this on the news within our lifetimes.

Let's hope THIS was the one!

dom
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posted 02-15-2013 02:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dom   Click Here to Email dom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The more I see of this event, we really are lucky it didn't happen over a major city as there would have been deaths. Let's hope this is the meteor of the century!

Blackarrow
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posted 02-15-2013 03:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It may have been my imagination, but I thought I saw a shock wave propagating from the fireball at the point when it appeared to explode.

Ronpur
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posted 02-15-2013 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is just amazing watching the coverage of this all day. Suddenly space and NASA are in the news and being quoted everywhere. It would be great if this inspired a few students to take astronomy as a field.

stsmithva
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posted 02-16-2013 08:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for stsmithva   Click Here to Email stsmithva     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are dozens of spectacular videos showing the arrivals of the meteor and, minutes later, the shockwave.

This one, I think, is one of the best showing the bright streak across the sky. After the brightest light goes out, notice you can still see red-hot remains towards the end of the smoke trail for another few seconds:

And this is one of the better ones showing (if that's the word) the sound of the shockwave. You can hear an apartment building's worth of window glass hitting the ground. If you watch enough of these, you'll learn some really useful phrases in Russian for expressing surprise, although it's possible they are not all suitable for polite conversation:

issman1
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posted 02-16-2013 10:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am somewhat surprised that the leadership of NASA, ESA and especially Roscosmos have not asked for renewed purpose in their space programmes.

The US president, anyway, has in the past talked of a possible mission to an asteroid by astronauts in 2025. So I hope that what happened in central Russia gives urgency to this.

Apollo14LMP
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posted 02-16-2013 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo14LMP   Click Here to Email Apollo14LMP     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are various UN initiatives being banded about...

They probably won't agree on what they will have to do until they are faced with an object that poses a real threat and generally no one looks out for NEOs smaller than 1 km. as there are so many of them and they are difficult to spot.

Geologically NEOs release the greatest amount of energy than any other geohazard.

The UN need to put more time and effort into protecting us from this hazard, which is one which could be preventable.

cspg
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posted 03-03-2013 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Apollo14LMP:
The UN need to put more time and effort into protecting us from this hazard, which is one which could be preventable.

That would mean more funding. Unfortunately, we're going the opposite direction.

Rick Mulheirn
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posted 03-04-2013 04:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Mulheirn   Click Here to Email Rick Mulheirn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Programmes on Sunday evening on both BBC2 and Channel 4 looking in detail at the Russian meteor strike.

Not surprisingly almost identical in content and the same webcam footage of the meteor was shown over and over again.

In truth both programmes could have easily been compressed in to 30 minutes rather than the hour... given the amount of "padding" but both were interesting none the less.

For UK viewers at least I am sure there will be catch up options either on-line or as repeats.

David Bryant
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posted 03-05-2013 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Want to know where the real threat to our continued existence lies? Comets.

There are billions of them out there in the Oort Cloud: they tumble into the inner Solar System unpredictably (two naked eye apparitions this year!) at huge velocities. Even a small comet has a mass of billions of tonnes: you do the math: KE = 1/2 mv x v.

The objects responsible for Tunguska, Gilf el Kebir and Chixculub were almost certainly comets. I remember watching Shoemaker-Levy 9 smacking into Jupiter and being awe-struck by the devastation....

lspooz
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posted 03-05-2013 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lspooz   Click Here to Email lspooz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by David Bryant:
Want to know where the real threat to our continued existence lies? Comets.Want to know where the real threat to our continued existence lies? Comets.
Agreed - until we become a spacefaring race, ANY large impactor is an extinction threat (ie. Larry Niven: the dinosaurs went extinct because they didn't have a space program... Elon Musk: single-planet species eventually go extinct)
quote:
...KE=1/2 mv x mv.
(Actually it's V-squared.)

Tunguska was very likely a comet, Gilf el Kebir — need more info, and Chixculub was a meteor, given crater and iridium isotope distribution.

David Bryant
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posted 03-12-2013 10:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Bryant   Click Here to Email David Bryant     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You may be right: why I included Chixculub in the list is that no debris exists, as is found at Barringer / Gebel Kamil etc..

The surface of a large comet would have a regolith of many tonnes of meteoric fragments which might well leave an iridium footprint.

SpaceAholic
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posted 10-16-2013 09:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BBC News: 'Meteorite' pulled from Russian lake
Divers working at a Russian lake have recovered what may be a 570kg chunk of the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk earlier this year.

The object is thought to have plunged into Lake Chebarkul in central Russia leaving a 6m-wide hole in the ice.

If confirmed, it would be the largest fragment of the meteorite yet found.

Philip
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posted 10-17-2013 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for sharing the link. Such a 600 kilogram meteorite will probably go to a museum, with little pieces to scientific institutions.

Vienna, Austria has a superb meteorite museum (far larger collection than London or Paris) ...so collectors won't get their hands on a pieces of this 600 kg chunk. Smaller Chelyabinsk meteorites are available via IMCA.cc recognized dealers.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-17-2013 01:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Philip:
Smaller Chelyabinsk meteorites are available via IMCA.cc recognized dealers.
I picked up my piece at Spacefest V from "Meteorite Men" co-star Geoff Notkin:

All times are CT (US)

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