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Russia Meteor Not Linked to Asteroid Flyby
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 20, 2013


Asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula
This image shows asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Eta Carinae Nebula, with the white box highlighting the asteroid's path. The image was taken using a 3" refractor equipped with a color CCD camera. The telescope is located at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia and is maintained and owned by iTelescope.net. Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Aaron Kingery. For a larger version of this image please go here.

New information provided by a worldwide network of sensors has allowed scientists to refine their estimates for the size of the object that entered that atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, Russia, at 7:20:26 p.m. PST, or 10:20:26 p.m. EST on Feb. 14 (3:20:26 UTC on Feb. 15).

The estimated size of the object, prior to entering Earth's atmosphere, has been revised upward from 49 feet (15 meters) to 55 feet (17 meters), and its estimated mass has increased from 7,000 to 10,000 tons. Also, the estimate for energy released during the event has increased by 30 kilotons to nearly 500 kilotons of energy released.

These new estimates were generated using new data that had been collected by five additional infrasound stations located around the world - the first recording of the event being in Alaska, over 6,500 kilometers away from Chelyabinsk.

The infrasound data indicates that the event, from atmospheric entry to the meteor's airborne disintegration took 32.5 seconds. The calculations using the infrasound data were performed by Peter Brown at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

"We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average," said Paul Chodas of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "When you have a fireball of this size we would expect a large number of meteorites to reach the surface and in this case there were probably some large ones."

The trajectory of the Russia meteor was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, which hours later made its flyby of Earth, making it a completely unrelated object. The Russia meteor is the largest reported since 1908, when a meteor hit Tunguska, Siberia.

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






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DEEP IMPACT
Russia halts search for meteorite in stricken region
Chelyabinsk, Russia (AFP) Feb 17, 2013
Russian authorities halted their search Sunday for the meteorite that spectacularly struck the Urals last week, leaving about 1,200 people injured and damaging several thousand buildings. The 10-tonne space rock streaked over the Chelyabinsk region in central Russia in a blinding fireball on Friday just as the world was braced for a close encounter with a large asteroid. Residents of Che ... read more


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