Friday, February 15, 2013
Meteorite Hits Central Russia Leaving 400 Injured
A meteorite shot across the sky in Central Russia and sent fireball crashing to earth, smashing windows, setting off car alarms and injuring about 400. Residents heard what sounded like explosion, saw a bright light and felt shockwave as they went to work in Chelyabinsk, an industrial city 1500 km east of Moscow. The meteorite then raced across the horizon, leaving a long trail of white smoke in its wake which could be seen as far as 200 km. Such incidents are rare in Russia. A meteorite is thought to have devastated an area of more than 2000 square kn in Serbia in 1908, smashing windows as far as 200 km from the point of bimpact. The authorities described the events as " Meteor shower in the form of fireballs" and said background radiation levels were normal and urgedthe residents not to panic. The US space agency NASA has said an asteroid known as 2012 DA14, about 150 feet in diameter would have an encounter with earth closer than any asteroid since scietists began routinely then 15 years ago.