Monday, February 18, 2013

Meteorite Crash in Russia

Meteorite explosions in the skies of Russia's Urals region has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones stopped working.

Meanwhile, experts say the meteor could have hit a UK city with the force of a nuclear bomb if it had entered the atmosphere at a different time of day.

The meteor penetrated Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,0000mph.

As it raced through the sky, the 50-foot wide chunk of space rock compressed the air ahead of it, creating the enormous temperatures that meant it exploded in a fireball somewhere between 18 and 32 miles above the ground at around 9.20am local time on Friday.

Scientists have played down suggestions that there is any link between the event in the Urals and 2012 DA14, an asteroid passing the Earth on Friday at a distance of just 27,700km (17,200 miles) - the closest ever predicted for an object of that size.

"One reason is that 2012 DA14 is approaching Earth from the south, and this object hit in the northern hemisphere," Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen's University Belfast told BBC News.


Source: bbc.co.uk

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