Tag Archives: meteorite shower

Largest in a century.

More on today’s Russian meteorite: Largest in a century.

My earlier skepticism appears incorrect. This impact actually happened.

Note the article’s sense of outrage and panic that we aren’t looking for these types of rocks:

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.

Yet, today’s impact actually illustrates the wisdom of excluding this kind of small asteroid from searches. They aren’t big enough to do serious harm, and trying to find them would hamper searches for larger asteroids that do pose a serious risk.

An unexpected meteorite shower yesterday across three regions of Russia has reportedly caused more than 400 people to seek medical help.

An unexpected meteorite shower yesterday across three regions of Russia has reportedly caused more than 400 people to seek medical help.

Hundreds suffered cuts from broken glass as the meteorites smashed windows in numerous buildings across the Chelyabinsk Region, officials said. “The condition of at least three [people] is considered grave,” an Interior Ministry spokesman said. At least six cities have been hit in three central regions of Russia. Some areas of neighboring Kazakhstan were also affected, Russian state officials confirmed on Friday.

There is something about this story, reported in many Russian news sources, that smells fishy to me. Something happened, and it likely is related to a shower of meteorites, but the images at the link above as well as here and here just don’t look right.