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Meteorite Hits Russian Urals: Fireball Explosion Wreaks Havoc, Over 500 Injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Science & Tech  (tags: destruction, meteorite, Russia )

- 2313 days ago -
Russia's Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.


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TomCat S (125)
Friday February 15, 2013, 5:23 am
I hope none were seriously injured,

Alice C (1797)
Friday February 15, 2013, 5:33 am
I'm watching the news now. I don't think any one was killed, however many were injured by window glass breaking. Good thing it didn't hit a plane.

Judy C (91)
Friday February 15, 2013, 5:53 am
Of course, my first thought was, I wonder if this is connected to the asteroid that is coming way too close to the earth for comfort, later today? The article states: "It is believed that the incident may be connected to asteroid 2012 DA14, which measures 45 to 95 meters in diameter and will be passing by Earth tonight at around 19:25 GMT at the record close range of 27,000 kilometers." This must have been terrifying. I hope those injured, especially the 2 badly injured, will have a full recovery. Thanks Alice.

Past Member (0)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:45 am

What do you want to bet it was a Government Employee, while working on the Mayan Calendar Rock, put the decimal in the wrong place and the end of the world really is this year.

David C (75)
Friday February 15, 2013, 8:04 am
saw this on BBC,, hope the injuries all were minor.....what coincidence same day as this near earth asteroid!

Sheryl G (359)
Friday February 15, 2013, 8:25 am
Yikes. Something we have no control over and is amazing more of this hasn't happened. We all do need to take each day as a gift. One never ever knows.

divergent revolution (309)
Friday February 15, 2013, 9:44 am
true ,so true,sweet Dandelion
we never know,which is why I never say Never, I knew about the asteroid yesterday,and that it would be passing right now,and miss....but what if it didn't?...
love each day, and live like you mean it, because any moment might be your last...
make it count for something!

Pami W (177)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:16 am
Such a bizarre thing to happen. It sure took me by surprise! Hope all the injured will be okay. I can imagine how frightening it was for them.
Thanks Alice.

Kay M (347)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:58 am

Alice C (1797)
Friday February 15, 2013, 11:17 am
A stargazer's guide to the asteroid flyby

By Joe Rao, Wed, Feb 13 2013 at 10:45 AM


This graphic is an illustration of how the asteroid 2012 DA14 will fly between Earth and the constellation of geosynchronous satellites on Feb. 15. (Image:
Scientists and amateur observers alike are eagerly awaiting Friday's historic flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14, which will zoom inside Earth's ring of geosynchronous satellites.

At its nearest approach Friday, Feb. 15, the 150-foot-wide (45 meters) asteroid 2012 DA14 will be just 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometers) from Earth — the closest encounter with such a large space rock that researchers have ever known about in advance.

Astronomers will take full advantage of the flyby, tracking the near-Earth asteroid with a variety of instruments to learn more about it and space rocks in general. And some well-placed skywatchers may be able to follow 2012 DA12 's path across the heavens Friday as well, weather permitting.

Will you be able to see it?
As in real estate, the key to viewing the flyby is location, location, location.

At the time of its closest approach on Friday — 2:24 p.m. EST (1924 GMT) – 2012 DA14 will be passing directly above the eastern Indian Ocean off the Indonesian island of Sumatra. That’s bad news if you live in the Western Hemisphere, Hawaii or New Zealand, where it will be daytime with no chance of seeing the asteroid. (But everyone can watch the flyby at, which will air footage from several telescopes around the world.) [Asteroid 2012 DA14;s Close Shave Explained (Infographic)]

But 2012 DA14 will be visible from parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and most of Australia (where it will be just before sunrise on Saturday morning).

To those who manage to get it in view, the most striking aspect will be the movement of the asteroid against the background stars, as it will move at 0.8 degrees per minute. That’s nearly twice the apparent diameter of the moon!

As seen through the eyepiece of a high-power telescope, the asteroid will appear to whiz rapidly across your field of view, somewhat reminiscent of the second hand of a clock.

Speaking of telescopes — you'll need some kind of optical aid to spot 2012 DA14. At its brightest, the space rock will shine at a magnitude of +7.4; under a very dark, clear sky, a person with average eyesight can see stars down to magnitude +6.5. (The higher the magnitude, the dimmer the object).

So to view the asteroid, you’re going to need a good pair of binoculars, or better yet, a moderately big (6-inch or larger) telescope.

How to find it
The asteroid will be sweeping up from below the orbital plane of our planet, which is why it will be visible only to those who live in the tropics or the Southern Hemisphere.prior to about 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) on Friday. [See Photos of Asteroid 2012 DA14]

Thereafter, however, 2012 DA14 will vault rapidly northward from a position in the far-southern sky roughly midway between the Southern Cross and the asterism known as the "False Cross." It will race north through the middle of Hydra and across the constellation of Crater and westernmost Virgo before passing very close to the bright star Denebola, which marks the tip of the tail of Leo (the Lion) some minutes before 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 GMT).

You will need a good star atlas and accurate positions of where the asteroid will be on a minute-by-minute basis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., provides this information, via its Horizons system.

Go to the Horizons Web interface at For Target Body, type in "2012 DA14;" for Observer Location, enter your latitude and longitude; and for Time Span, select an interval of one minute (because the asteroid will be moving so fast).

For Table Settings, choose Astrometric R.A. and Dec, as well as Visual Mag. Click Use Selected Settings, and then Generate Ephemeris. Now you’ll have a precise set of positions for the asteroid, custom-made for your location that you can plot on a star map or atlas.

Unfortunately, by the time it gets dark over North America on Friday evening, the main show will be all but over. 2012 DA14 will have faded to about 12th magnitude — about 100 times dimmer compared to its closest approach — and it will be moving much more slowly, being positioned roughly between the Big and Little Dippers in the far-northern sky.

Celestial shooting gallery
On Oct. 28, 1937, German astronomer Karl Reinmuth (1892-1979) accidentally photographed the long trail of a fast-moving asteroid. Two nights later, this asteroid passed within 460,000 miles (740,000 km) of Earth. Reinmuth named it Hermes, after the Olympian god of boundaries and travelers.

Since the vast majority of asteroids congregate in the main belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, astronomers at that time felt that Hermes’ very close approach was an outstanding exception.

"Astronomers of the day were somewhat biased," notes NASA’s Paul Chodas. "They had convinced themselves that collisions were too rare to consider."

We have since learned, however, that asteroids make very close approaches to Earth with far greater frequency than once believed.

In fact, our Earth is literally in a "celestial shooting gallery." In this past year alone, for instance, 50 known asteroids have passed within 1.2 million miles (1.9 million km) of Earth. That comes out to about one per week.

And during this past year, 11 space rocks are known to have come to within less than the moon’s mean distance from Earth — about 239,000 miles (384,000 km) Six of them have passed within less than half the moon’s mean distance of 119,000 miles (191,000 km) from Earth, at an average interval of about two months.

Researchers at JPL's Near-Earth Object Program Office estimate that an asteroid the size of 2012 DA14 flies this close every 40 years on average and that one will impact Earth, on average, about once every 1,200 years.

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. Follow on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+.

Related on and MNN:
Asteroid 2012 DA14 Earth Flyby of Feb. 15: Complete Coverage
Asteroid 2012 DA14 Misses Satellites (and Earth) - Fortunately! | New Animation
Best Beginner Astrophotography Telescopes
MNN: 8 asteroids in our solar system

Kerstin Strobl (123)
Friday February 15, 2013, 11:31 am
Thank you for sharing Alice

Agnes N (703)
Friday February 15, 2013, 11:47 am
Thanks Alice..

. (0)
Friday February 15, 2013, 12:23 pm
I hope everyone is ok. You never know from day to day............TY Alice

Margaret B (96)
Friday February 15, 2013, 1:23 pm
thankyou for this information. Live one day at a time. love to all.

norma laborie (33)
Friday February 15, 2013, 1:36 pm
Thanks for all!

Past Member (0)
Friday February 15, 2013, 2:33 pm
Quite terrifying watching it on the News.

Natalie V (28)
Friday February 15, 2013, 3:08 pm
noted, thanks

greenplanet e (155)
Friday February 15, 2013, 4:21 pm

greenplanet e (155)
Friday February 15, 2013, 4:21 pm
...and kinda scary.

tiffany t (142)
Friday February 15, 2013, 6:10 pm
very surreal 10 tons wow

Jae A (316)
Friday February 15, 2013, 7:48 pm
Ditto on that comment Tiffany. One can only imagine the horror and varing thoughts that people were having as to what was happening at the time. I know it'd scare the beegeebeeees out of me !

Lydia S (155)
Friday February 15, 2013, 8:49 pm
Thanks Alice , Those poor people !
They must have thought the world was ending !

ps. Glad it didn't .

Billie C (2)
Friday February 15, 2013, 9:39 pm
just a reminder that humans are not in charge. the pics are amazing. glad nobody was killed.

Daphne Waisel (0)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:05 pm
thanks for info,

Migi H (19)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 1:22 am
Saw the news on my local paper today, that was really shocking! I hope there were no fatal injuries!

S S (0)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 6:27 am
Thank you.

Alice C (1797)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 7:29 am
Hi Lydia ~ I'm glad the world didn't end also because I have too much laundry to get done !

Sandi C (90)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 8:29 am
Hope know one died.

aj E (164)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 9:22 am

Alice C (1797)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 9:37 am
I have not heard of any fatal injuries

. (0)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 11:25 am
This was an incident even my kindergarten children were aware of. This led into a great lesson about the surface of the moon, and the meteorites that have hit its surface over a billion years. This led into a great discussion about the :man in the moon" being crater formations. Never second guess 5 year olds to understand.

. (0)
Saturday February 16, 2013, 2:42 pm
How biblical is that? Then there were all the rumors about the Russians shooting down a meteorite or whatever or that it was a US weapons test. Anything to scare the bejeezus out of the common folk and get them ratcheted up for conflict. It's a great way to deflect their attention to the real issues I guess.

Julie F (68)
Sunday February 17, 2013, 8:09 am
thank you. can't imagine what they were thinking during it
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