Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




DEEP IMPACT
Meteor strike in Russia hurts over 500
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Feb 15, 2013


Stay away from meteorites, government tells Russians
Moscow (AFP) Feb 15, 2013 - Russia's authorities on Friday cautioned residents of the Urals to stay away from any unidentified objects after a meteor dramatically burned up above the region, with a precious meteorite apparently plunging into a local lake.

"Russia's emergency ministry warns all residents of the Urals... not to approach unknown objects," the ministry said on its website, listing several numbers for people to use if they found something unusual.

The meteor spectacularly fell early Friday, causing blasts which blew out windows in the city of Chelyabinsk and left almost a thousand people injured.

Televised reports showed footage from the Chebarkul lake, about 60 kilometres from Chelyabinsk, where a circular hole was discovered in the ice, which regional police said was cut by a meteorite.

Local fishermen saw the falling meteor, which disintegrated into seven pieces. "One of them fell on the shore opposite of the (Chebarkul) town, whipping up a pillar of ice, water and steam," the police said in a statement.

"As a result, a giant circular ice hole eight meters (26 feet) in diameter was formed," the report said. Police secured the area and specialists measured radiation, which was normal, it said.

Pictures on the police website showed people standing around looking at the ice hole. One also showed a tiny rock about one centimetre in diameter, laying on ice next to a ruler.

Several such fragments, "hard, black pieces, which look like rock segments," have been recovered, police said.

Classified ad websites quickly had notices put up by enterprising or jestering Russians, offering pieces of the new meteorite for sale. "Two vans of the Chelyabinsk meteorite," said one notice, posted in the "jewelry" section of a Russian website Avito. "Price can be negotiated."

The regional emergency ministry said it had sent people to the Chebarkul area but could not confirm the hole in the ice was caused by an object from space. It also asked people not to panic and keep warm by closing shattered windows with plywood and plastic.

"It's a hole in ice, we have sent a team to inspect it, but I cannot confirm it's from a meteorite," spokesman of the Chelyabinsk branch of the emergency ministry Vyacheslav Ladonkin told AFP.

A plunging meteor exploded with a blinding flash above central Russia on Friday, setting off a shockwave that shattered windows and hurt over 500 people in an event unprecedented in modern times.

The extraordinary event brought morning traffic to a sudden halt in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk as shocked drivers stopped to watch the falling meteor partially burning up in the lower atmosphere and light up the sky.

It appeared the meteor's entry into the atmosphere was not linked to the asteroid 2012 DA 14 which is expected to pass about 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometres) above the Earth later Friday in an unusually close approach.

But experts said that the fall of such a large meteor estimated as weighing dozens of tonnes was extremely rare while the number of casualties from its burning up around a heavily-inhabited area was unprecedented.

The emergencies ministry said more than 500 people were injured, 112 of whom have been hospitalised. Windows were blown out by the shockwave across the city's region with the ministry saying almost 300 buildings were damaged including, schools, hospitals, a zinc factory and even an ice hockey stadium.

"At 0920 (0320 GMT) an object was observed above Chelyabinsk which flew by at great speed and left a trail behind. Within two minutes there were two bangs," regional emergencies official Yuri Burenko said in a statement.

"The shockwave broke glass in Chelyabinsk and a number of other towns in the region," he said.

The office of the local governor said in a statement that a meteorite had fallen into a lake outside the town of Chebakul in the Chelyabinsk region and television images pointed to a six-metre (20-foot) hole in the frozen lake's ice.

However it has yet to be finally confirmed if meteorite fragments made contact with the Earth and there were no reports that any locals had been hurt directly by a falling piece of meteorite.

Schools were closed for the day and theatre shows cancelled across the region after the shock wave blew out windows amid temperatures as low as minus 18 degrees Celsius (zero degrees Fahrenheit).

The local postal service said several of its buildings had been damaged while some television footage showed people with bloodied faces and at least one child's back covered with blood.

-- 'A large object weighing tonnes' --

The Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement that it estimated the body to be several metres long and weighing several dozen tonnes. "It burned up at a height of 30-50 kilometres... but pieces could have fallen to Earth as meteorites."

The meteor explosion appears to be one of the most stunning cosmic events above Russia since the 1908 Tunguska Event, when a massive blast most scientists blame on an asteroid or a comet impact ripped through Siberia.

"I am scratching my head to think of anything in recorded history when that number of people have been indirectly injured by an object like this... it's very, very rare to have human casualties," Robert Massey, deputy executive secretary of Britain's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), told AFP.

But he stressed that he saw "absolutely no connection" between the Chelyabinsk event and asteroid 2012 DA 14, which was to skim the Earth later on Friday at a distance of around 17,200 miles (27,700 kilometres).

With the meteor already becoming a leading trend on Twitter, locals posted amateur footage on YouTube showing men swearing in surprise and fright, and others grinding their cars to a halt.

"First I thought it was a plane falling, but there was no sound from the engine... after a moment a powerful explosion went off," said witness Denis Laskov.

"In a lot of the houses on our street the windows were blown out," he told state television.

Footage is viewable on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_nOaRpF0DJk.

The Chelyabinsk region is Russia's industrial heartland, filled with smoke-chugging factories and other huge facilities that include a nuclear power plant and the massive Mayak atomic waste storage and treatment centre.

A spokesman for Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy state corporation, said that its operations remained unaffected.

The emergencies ministry said radiation levels in the region also did not change and that 20,000 rescue workers had been dispatched to help the injured and locate those requiring help.

.


Related Links
Asteroid and Comet Impact Danger To Earth - News and Science






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





DEEP IMPACT
Toll from meteor strike is biggest ever
Paris (AFP) Feb 15, 2013
A meteor strike on Friday that injured almost a thousand people in a central Russian city inflicted the biggest known human toll from a space rock, experts said. But the shock event has no link with a flyby by a rogue asteroid, they added. "I am scratching my head to think of anything in recorded history when that number of people have been indirectly injured by an object like this," sai ... read more


DEEP IMPACT
Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

DEEP IMPACT
Rover Walkabout Continues at Cape York

Mars Rock Takes Unusual Form

In milestone, Mars rover collects first bedrock sample

How The World's Saltiest Pond Gets Its Salt; Implications For Water On Mars

DEEP IMPACT
Orion Lands Safely on Two of Three Parachutes in Test

Supersonic skydiver even faster than thought

Ahmadinejad says ready to be Iran's first spaceman

Iran's Bio-Capsule Comes Back from Space

DEEP IMPACT
Welcome Aboard Shenzhou 10

Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

DEEP IMPACT
Low-Gravity Flights Will Aid ISS Fluids and Combustion Experiments

Progress docks with ISS

NASA to Send Inflatable Pod to International Space Station

ISS to get inflatable module

DEEP IMPACT
Another Sea Launch Failure

ILS Concludes Yamal 402 Proton Launch Investigation

Ariane 5 delivers record payload off back-to-back launches this week

Eutelsat and Arianespace sign new multi-year multiple launch services agreement

DEEP IMPACT
Earth-like planets are right next door

Direct Infrared Image Of An Arm In Disk Demonstrates Transition To Planet Formation

Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door

Earth-like planets may be closer than thought: study

DEEP IMPACT
Researchers strain to improve electrical material and it's worth it

Explosive breakthrough in research on molecular recognition

Indra Develops The First High-Resolution Passive Radar System

ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement