Astronomers and amateur sky geeks are psyched about the 2012 DA14 asteroid that will buzz by Earth on Friday. It’ll be a close shave, about 17,000 miles close, but a miss nonetheless. And we get to learn from it.
Unrelated to the asteroid, a meteor on Friday morning streaked across the sky of Russia’s Ural Mountains, burned up, caused a powerful sonic boom and injured hundreds. The fragments rained down on Chelyabinsk, leading to what would have been mass chaos if the stoic Russians in the following videos weren’t so freakishly calm. This is truly amazing stuff:
Today’s one of those days we’re thankful that every single driver in Russia, it seems, has a dash cam and knows how to upload quickly.
Nature.com reports this event was more powerful than North Korea’s nuke test: “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.”
RT: “As of 15:00 Moscow time, 725 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, 112 of whom have been hospitalized, of them two in heavy condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported.”
UPDATE: A Russian Interior Ministry spokesman says more than 400 people were hurt in the meteor fall. Interfax says 1,000.
The moment of explosion, according to Voice of Russia:
The meteor appears to have landed in this frozen lake:
This Russian LiveJournal has the best coverage out there (pics, vids).
This is what it looked like inside an office:
This thing blew out a lot of windows:
Another dash cam video, with a sweet soundtrack:
Broken glass everywhere: