Meteorite explosion over Russia injures hundreds

From The Guardian where there are more videos:

A meteorite has flared spectacularly in the sky and exploded over the
Russian region of Chelyabinsk, reportedly injuring around 400 people.

Fragments of the meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the region, the emergencies ministry said in a statement.
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.

Kolesnikov also said about 600 sq metres (6,500 sq ft) of a roof at a zinc factory had collapsed.

Comments

8 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. McGee,

    That is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

    I can’t imagine what the Tunguska event must have been like, given the devastation that was caused. Even small meteorites can cause major damage.

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  2. incredulous,

    In Russia, rock throws YOU.

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  3. Fred,

    I believe that it was a meteor. It’s only a meteorite once it lands. I expect they will find quite a few.

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  4. Bacopa,

    This meteorite seems not to have been a chunk of today’s asteroid flyby, but it’s great the two events happened together. It really sends the message that Earth needs an anti-asteroid defense system.

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    • ZZ,

      Most of the ones out there that will hit earth are either to small to currently be seen before hand or too large to do anything about. There are groups that are getting funding for building better equipment to spot asteroids as small as a bus but that would still only give a few weeks notice before the rocks hit Earth. We cant do anything about the big ones that can really do damage because if we blow them up (assuming that we manage to do that), then we have many smaller but still large chunks like the one in the video that will rain down over a much larger area, kinda like a cluster bomb.

      We currently cant nuke them due to the treaty saying that no nation will put any type of arms in space. And if we could, we run into the same problem of creating hundreds of other chunks that would rain down on earth, destroying everything in their wake likely including other satellites. The biggest weapon “allowed” in space are satellites that we use to ram into others. Other nations dont like it when it is done because it is viewed as a test to see if there is a possibility of knocking out enemies satellites, thus crippling that nations communication and GPS systems that are incorporated into everything these days. These are not large enough to do any damage so bus sized rocks.

      The best chance we have is finding them years in advanced and trying to use gravity to “tow” them out of our path but that takes a long time and would require a huge amount of mass sent up into space. If that works, then you have the problem of getting the mass back into our control or building another for when the next one comes.

      All that being said, events like this only happen once every 100 years or so and likely will hit an unpopulated area. Most will break up in much less harmful chunks and hit the ground.

      XKCD has a good “What IF” Section that talks a bit about this.
      http://what-if.xkcd.com/20/

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      • ZZ,

        At least that is my understanding, I could be wrong. I’ve been wrong before and Ill be wrong again so if you find a mistake, please correct me!

        Oh, and astroids float in space, meteors explode/burn up in our atmosphere, and meteorites hit the ground.

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  5. outeast,

    New Pope delivered.

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