Almost 1,000 people were injured when a meteor shot across the sky and exploded over central Russia on Friday, sending fireballs crashing to Earth, shattering windows and damaging buildings.
Definition : Small pieces of space debris — usually parts of comets or asteroids — that are on a collision course with the Earth are called meteoroids. They become meteors when they enter the Earth's atmosphere. Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere, but if they survive the frictional heating and strike the surface of the Earth they are called meteorites.
The site of Friday's spectacular show is about 5,000 kilometres west of Tunguska, which in 1908 was the site of the ...view middle of the document...
They said what sounded like a blast had been heard at an altitude of 10,000 metres.
The explosions broke an estimated 100,000 square meters of glass. 985 people had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted that 43 people were hospitalized. A fireball blazed across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake. Car alarms went off, windows shattered and mobile phone networks were interrupted. City officials said 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged by the shock wave.
“I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day,”
“I felt like I was blinded by headlights,”
Another Chelyabinsk resident, Valya Kazakov, said some elderly women in his neighbourhood started crying out that the world was ending.
Reports conflicted on what exactly happened in the clear skies. There was a meteor shower, but it was a single meteor. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at an economic forum in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, said the meteor could be a symbol for the forum, showing that “not only the economy is vulnerable, but the whole planet.” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the incident showed the need for leading world powers to develop a system to intercept objects falling from space.
Amateur video broadcast on Russian television showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time, just after sunrise, leaving a thick white contrail and an intense flash.