Chelyabinsk asteroid meteor impact hit

Chelyabinsk meteor explosion

In 2013, on Friday 15th Feb a 19 meter space rock slammed into Earth's atmosphere causing an airburst equal to several atomic bombs. The event was witnessed by thousands of onlookers on mobile phones and dashcams.

Chelyabinsk meteor injuring hundreds

The impact happened over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in West Russia. Without warning a streak of light developed crossing the sky leaving behind a smoke trail, and culminating in a fireball the momentarily became 30 times brighter than the sun. As the stony meteorite encountered the increasing resistance of air, it developed massive friction and heat. One astronomer estimated the surface of the meteorite was about as hot as the surface of the sun. As the spacerock disintegrated it sent massive shockwaves damaging 6000 buildings and injuring hundreds of people through broken glass or being thrown across the room.

Due to the Russian addiction to dashboard camera this is the most documented fireball in history. The airburst is estimated to have been around 400-600 kilotons TNT, which is 30 times the size of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Chelyabinsk Meteor smoke trail

Asteroid undetected before it hit

Noone had seen the asteroid coming. It's approach came from the direction of the sun which made it harder to detect before it hit the earth. As the larger than a double decker bus space rock disintegrated into gas and dust, the sonic booms set off car alarms and made people think the war had started. The explosion was registered by sensors all around the world.

The asteroid is estimated to have weighted around 13,000 tons with a size of about 17m. As it started it's fiery passage it's speed was about 64,000 km/h (40,000 mph)

Photo Credit and other: public domain
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