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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

I assume you have all heard about the Russian meteor that exploded over over the region of Chelyabinsk in Russia, near the southern Ural Mountains. The fireball was quite a blinding sight (if such a thing makes sense). The explosion was equivalent to a nuclear blast in power, it blew thousands of windows and ~ 700 reported injuries as a result. Check out the NYT website here for some awe-striking videos taken by the locals. In a way, I wish I'd been there to witness it, but not close enough to be hurt by exploding glass shards! No warning was possible because the meteor was too small (<100 meters) to be detected by telescopes until it hit the atmosphere. Fortunately it exploded in the upper atmosphere, or the damage would have been far worse. The region is not very populated either, so that is lucky too. 



Russian meteor largest in a century


Explosion rivalled nuclear blast, but rock was still too small for advance-warning networks to spot.

15 February 2013


A meteor that exploded over Russia this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century, scientists say. 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.

"It was a very, very powerful event," says Margaret Campbell-Brown, an astronomer at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, who has studied data from two infrasound stations near the impact site. Her calculations show that the meteoroid was approximately 15 metres across when it entered the atmosphere, and put its mass at around 40 tonnes. "That would make it the biggest object recorded to hit the Earth since Tunguska," she says.

The meteor appeared at around 09:25 a.m. local time over the region of Chelyabinsk, near the southern Ural Mountains. The fireball blinded drivers and a subsequent explosion blew out windows and damaged hundreds of buildings. So far, more than 700 people are reported to have been injured, mainly from broken glass, according to a statement from the Russian Emergency Ministry.

The meteor contrail seen over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on 15 February. The object's explosion in the atmosphere is reported to have injured more than 700 people.

CHELYABINSK.RU/AP

Despite its massive size, the object went undetected until it hit the atmosphere. "I'm not aware of anyone who saw this coming," says Heiner Klinkrad, head of the European Space Agency's space debris office at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany. 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.

Read the rest here


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Replies to This Discussion

This fire ball was recorded from a satellite. Spacecom. see the video in the link.

More info on the strike at the following link Russian fireball.

An event such as this one makes us feel very small and it could have had more serious sequels; sci-fi becoming true ?

No it's not sci-fi coming true but reality biting! :-)

Yeas, it does remind us that you are just a bunch of sophisticated, philosophizing apes living on a space rock hurtling through space at mind boggling speeds where other rocks are doing just the same.

More Than 1,000 Russians Injured In Freaking Coolest Event Ever

NEWS • News • ISSUE 49•07 • Feb 15, 2013

The meteor explosion, which left thousands panicked and injured, was just the coolest thing you could possibly imagine, sources confirmed.

CHELYABINSK, RUSSIA—Following the unexpected arrival of a 10-ton meteor that reportedly broke up above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk early Friday morning, more than 1,000 people have been seriously injured in what sources confirmed was the most awesome fucking thing ever.

The absolutely badass meteor explosion, which authorities claimed left hundreds of Russian men, women, and children in critical condition, sent flaming debris throughout the city’s industrial and residential neighborhoods and is reportedly the most amazing shit you will ever see.

“It was horrible, we were all so scared,” said local woman Anya Zlobin, 48, who was just one of thousands of people who got to look out her window and see a meteor—a goddamned meteor, sources verified—streaking through the sky at balls-out speed like something out of a freaking movie, for God’s sake. “There was a very loud explosion, and then the windows shattered and we were all on the ground. I held my child to my breast and I prayed for it to end.”

“I’m so glad it is over,” added the woman of the absolutely knock-your-socks-off incredible event that could have gone on forever.

According to local authorities, the totally spectacular meteor explosion—God, just those words are fantastic—may have caused millions of dollars in damage, and also, sources reaffirmed repeatedly, was freaking nuts.

Honest to God, just ridiculous, reports indicated.

Additionally, Russian officials said the meteor explosion reduced to rubble a local zinc factory, numerous homes, and, reportedly, so many other things that can’t even be adequately described in this news story, you just have to watch the video, it’s amazing.

“Since the meteor hit, hundreds of wounded have been streaming through our doors, many with terrible disfigurements,” said Dr. Evgeny Prokhorov, a lucky man who was able to witness the jaw-droppingly cool event in person. “There are more people coming in every minute, and we simply don’t have the capacity to treat them all.”

At press time, the tragic event is all over YouTube and needs to be seen to be believed, seriously.

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