Incredible Meteor Videos

February 15th, 2013 at 4:22 pm by under Weather

Below you will five incredible meteor videos from this morning’s event over Russia. Also, some historic perspective from our friend, Dr. Jeff Masters from Weather Underground:

Although this blog is mostly about meteorology–the science of the weather–it’s worth commenting on the incredible meteor that streaked through the skies of Russia over the Ural Mountains near 9:20 am local time on Friday. The shock waves from the meteor blew out windows, collapsed the walls and ceiling of a zinc factory, and injured over 950 people. According to astronomer Margaret Campbell-Brown of the University of Western Ontario, in an interview with nature.com, today’s meteor was 15 meters in diameter and weighed 40 tons, making it the largest one to affect Earth since the 1908 Tunguska meteor in Siberia. The number of injuries reported from today’s event is unprecedented in modern human history for a meteor. The meteor appeared less than a day before asteroid 2012 DA14 will make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to Earth since sky surveys began in the 1990s–about 17,150 miles, which is closer than the orbit of the GOES weather satellites. According to NASA (as posted on spaceweather.com), “the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point. In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14′s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north.” The odds of the largest meteor strike in 100 years occurring on the same day as the closest asteroid approach in 15 years are about 1 in 200 million, assuming these events are not correlated–truly a cosmic coincidence! The root word meteor comes from the Greek meteĊros, meaning “high in the air”, and the science of meteorology is the study of weather (notably hydrometeors–things like rain and snow and hailstones that fall from the sky.)


A hole in Chebarkul Lake, Russia claimed to be from meteorite debris from today’s meteor. Photo by Chebarkul town head Andrey Orlov. (Weather Underground)

 

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