Video Of Exploding Meteor, A meteor streaked through the sky and exploded Friday over Russia’s Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people.
While NASA estimated the meteor was only about the size of a bus and weighed about 7,000 tonnes, the fireball it produced was dramatic. Video shot by startled residents of the city of Chelyabinsk showed its streaming contrails arcing toward the horizon just after sunrise, looking like something from a world-ending science-fiction movie.
It came hours before a 130,000-tonne asteroid passed within about 28,000 kilometres of Earth. The European Space Agency said its experts had determined there was no connection between the asteroid and the Russian meteor – just cosmic coincidence.
The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end. Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows to see what the source was for such an intense flash of light.
The meteor – estimated to be about 9 tonnes – entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000 km/h and shattered about 30 to 50 kilometres above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.
It released the energy of several kilotons above the Chelyabinsk region, the academy said.
NASA experts will have a teleconference at 4 p.m. ET Friday to discuss the meteor.
NASA scientists have also determined that the Russia meteor is not related to 2012 DA14.
Richard Binzel, a professor of Planetary Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the meteor was probably about two metres across, or the size of an SUV.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time, just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.
“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million about 1,500 kilometres east of Moscow.