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Subject: Meteorite explodes over Russia

Written By: MaxwellSmart on 02/15/13 at 7:04 pm

Most meteorites are the size of a grain of sand.  Maybe a pea.  The one that exploded over Russia today was a little bigger, about 10 metric tons!  The shockwave injured over 1200 people and shattered windows and cracked walls in the city of Chelyabinsk, which is about 950 miles east of Moscow. 

Siberia was also the site of the terrible Tunguska Fireball of 1908.  In June of that year even bigger meteorite than this one exploded above the remote Podkammennaya Tunguska River region of Siberia, about 3000 miles west of Chelyabinsk.  There was an awesome trail of bluish light in the sky on the night of June 17 followed by a 5.0 Richter earthquake.  If the Tunguska Fireball had exploded over Moscow, it would have destroyed the entire metropolitan area.  However, the Tunguska event was so far out in the woods it took nearly 20 years before scientists found the crater and studied the area.  In 1927 there were trees flattened for 830 square miles around the crater.  The crater is still there and the ecological damage is visible to this day.

Why did both these meteorites explode over Russia?  Chance, with the added factor that Russia covers an enormous swath of the Earth's surface.

I sure hope one of these bad boys doesn't nail a city near you!

Subject: Re: Meteorite explodes over Russia

Written By: Bobby on 02/15/13 at 7:18 pm

If a meteorite hit Plymouth in England it would only do about five quid's worth of damage...  ;D

Subject: Re: Meteorite explodes over Russia

Written By: LyricBoy on 02/15/13 at 7:51 pm

When I was a kid in Picksburgh, one night we saw this awesome fireball.  I was amazed when it turned out that the meteor actually landed in Iowa (and then became a meteorite).

Subject: Re: Meteorite explodes over Russia

Written By: Foo Bar on 02/18/13 at 4:36 am

It might not come tomorrow. It might not come for a thousand years. Or ten thousand years. Or a million years.

But the one that's big enough to end civilization is out there, and it's coming straight for us, we just don't know it yet. The question is, what are we going to do about it, and will we do it in time?

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