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A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteorite shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cellphones have stopped working.
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo reportedly blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers.
A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.
Lifenews tabloid said that at least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk. According to preliminary reports, it crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the city's Internet and mobile service.
Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.
Police in the Chelyabinsk region are reportedly on high alert, and have begun ‘Operation Fortress’ in order to protect vital infrastructure.
Office buildings in downtown Chelyabinsk are being evacuated. Injuries were reported at one of the city’s secondary schools, supposedly from smashed windows. No other injuries have been reported so far.
Last edited by dierat; February 15th, 2013 at 05:27 AM.
Some more views.
There was some speculation that the incident may be connected with 2012 DA14, an asteroid that will pass Earth today at a distance of 27,700 km (17,200 miles), but it seems to have been ruled out as just a crazy coincidence.
Originally Posted by Newsroom AmericaAstronomer Phil Plait says a meteor which "exploded" over Russia is not related to the asteroid 2012 DA14 which is due to make a close fly-by of earth in the next few hours.
A meteor shower has reportedly hit the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia in the Ural Mountains.
Mr Plait said it appeared to be a "very big" meteor which gave off a very bright fireball and a sonic boom.
Various reports said up to 400 people have been injured, mainly by shattering glass.
Videos quickly appeared on the Internet of the apparent meteor, with the one below filmed from a car’s dashboard camera appearing to show the meteor coming through the atmosphere.
Mr Plait said the "explosion" heard in videos such as the one below was "almost certainly" from the shock wave of the meteoroid, and not from it exploding or hitting the ground.
But he said on Twitter that the Russian Meteor is almost certainly unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14 which is due to make a close pass by earth in a few hours.
"Most important thing for the moment: The #RussianMeteor is almost certainly unrelated to #2012DA14! Wrong direction, way too early," he tweeted.
NASA says an asteroid 150-feet in diameter with an estimated mass of about 130,000 metric tons will make a record close approach to earth for a known object of this size today, and will pass inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites.
NASA's Near Earth Object (NEO) Program Office says it can accurately predict the asteroid's path and there is no chance that the asteroid might be on a collision course with the Earth.
Last edited by dierat; February 15th, 2013 at 05:59 AM.
Millions of years ago in 1910 a giant meteor exploded over Tunguska in Russia, tragically murdering millions of trees. Even more tragically, if it had landed just hours earlier it would have obliterated Paris.
Just over 100 years later the terror from the sky returned to wreak havoc on the Ruskovites once again.
BBC Newscasters report "no one is quite clear whether the explosions felt were the result of the meteor impacting with the ground, or what" (it was the sonic boom and subsequent explosion of a white hot hypersonic lump of iron you fucking uneducated dipshits) but whatever the cause, one thing is clear; space hates Russians.
Russian rockets exploded on their pads, Russian forests were flattened, and now a rock smashes all their windows. What did the Russian people do to piss off space so much? No one knows. Will space continue its remorseless attacks on the defenseless Russian people? Only time and shaky dashcam footage will tell.
What might have been if God had been paying attention
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 15th, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
yeap zombie outbreak in russa in the next day or too lol
The sound of that explosion/sonicboom was incredible. It scared me just hearing it in the video, let alone if I'd heard it in real life. And I've heard the breaking of the sound barrier before too and this was way louder.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)
Sound is pressure waves moving through fluid. The faster and larger the object displacing the air, the greater the pressure differential, ie the louder the sound. whips crack because the end of the whip goes supersonic. in fact the whip was the fastest piece of human technology for millennia till the 20th century.
jets are designed to be streamlined, ie move through the air with minimal resistance. a space rock moving at kilometers a second doesnt give two shits and is dumping all of its kinetic energy into the atmosphere as it falls, resulting in an enormous array of shockwaves which then batter your ears and implode windows.
if you think thats impressive check this out
Red giant Mira, moving at 130km/s relative to the ambient gas around it is plowing huge shock-waves and leaving a light-years long tail of turbulence behind it.
And if you think thats impressive check this out
The supermassive black hole at the centre of this galaxy is spitting out jets of matter from its poles at a significant fraction lightspeed, millions of metres per second. the jets can be megalightyears long and cause the ambient gas to glow as they plough into it. no one knows for sure what mechanism is behind the jets buts its thought the sstupendous magnetic fields of the hole might be behind them.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 16th, 2013 at 06:20 PM.
Goodness, gracious. . . Great Balls o' Fire!
Goatguy and friends over at NextBigFuture ran some numbers:
(KT and kiloton refer to 1000 yankee tons of high explosive yield)
I guess theyre simplifying the conic shock and subsequent airburst into a single event; its messier than a simple bomb going off but still gives a reasonable order of magnitude guestimate of energy released... i left a question on this and will check back to see if they answer.
Long and the short, 300,000 tons of high explosive = KABOOOMM!!
GoatGuy • 11 hours ago −
I'm not sure what to believe at this point. Clearly the cabal of enthusiasts on wikipedia have sensationalized the editing of the article ("it was from 15 meters to a few meters in diameter" - since when do we use larger numbers first, except to sensationalize data, assuming the glee-lambs that read shit don't see but the first number?)
Its overpressure wave arrived 127 seconds after air-burst ... more or less. The angle in the sky was about 60 degrees from the horizon in Chelyabinsk, where being the largest center, most of the damage was reported. The cylindrical compression wave travels more or less at the speed of sound, or about 340 meters per second, averaged out at 300 m/s for the rarefied atmosphere. Therefore, absolute distance was 127 × 300 = 38 km. At the 60 degree above-horizon the range was 20 km, and the height was 20√3 = 34 km.
Now, taking the nice online document http://books.google.com/books?... into account, and applying formulas therein (and no, I'm not going to do all the calcs here... they're complicated!) ... it looks like the structural damage was substantially less than a 1 lb/sq inch (7 kPa) ... a few windows stove in, quite a few broken glass panes, but not universal ... and certainly not much "structural" damage.
Working backward from the equations and tables, where 1 megaton at 2 km height has a 1 lb pressure ring at 22 km (but would have a 1 psi ring at 30 km if burst at 30 km)... it looks like the "yield" was on the order of the quoted 300 kT.
It really all depends on that 127 seconds. I could find no continuous videos that recorded both the streak and the sound of the air-blast. If anyone has access to one, we can get closer.
One powerful meteor though! Its sobering to think that there are 100's of thousands of these objects criss-crossing the Earth's orbit every year, in the range of 1 m³ to 20 m³, and that every year or two on the average, one of them commits to a "direct hit" somewhere on the planet. The spy satellites have been watching them for decades.
At 30 km/s each ton of impactor carries 0.1 kT of kinetic energy. So... if this thing actually did deliver ~300 kT, then it needed an initial mass of ~3,000 T (3 Gg). One can assume that a substantial amount of its kinetic energy went into making the oblique-entry-angle shock wave in the atmosphere. If it had been a more vertical strike, it would have been quite a different situation.
4 •Reply•Share ›
danielravennest GoatGuy • 3 hours ago
Infrasound atomic test monitoring stations confirm the 17 meter, 10kT mass, 300 kT energy estimate:
0 •Reply•Share ›
MTCZ GoatGuy • 11 hours ago
http://youtu.be/efvP-RRuJuA this one's location is reportedly less than 10km from epicenter
From here http://forum.nasaspaceflight.c...
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GoatGuy MTCZ • 8 hours ago
Excellent videos - both capture the elapsed time.
The first one "Armeggedon" in Russian - 131 seconds. The second, 140 seconds. The angles (from shadows) again show 60° and 50° respectively, so it is all consistent with absolute height of 33,000 meters, and an explosive energy of roughly 150 kT to 250 kT.
[To readers unsure of what this kind of precision means, in much of science we're pretty happy to get estimates "more or less in the same order of magnitude", or same power of 10. IN this case, 150 kT = 5.18 (log 10 scale) tons of TNT. The earlier estimate of 300 kT would be 5.48 (log 10 scale). As you can see - both are in scale "5", and only modestly far from each other. 6% difference in the "log" domain of power. Nice accuracy.]
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 17th, 2013 at 12:04 AM.
Heh! I'm trying to figure out what that little sub-bullet thingy is off to the left.
(Being an American, I, of course, recognize the big thingy as a pistol bullet. . .)
wasnt sure either, looks like a .22 airgun pellet to me.
might be some piece of crap that came off the main round.
I searched shadowgraph images (the device used to make these photos) and that second thing is unique; none of the other pics have such a second projectile.
One site refers helpfully to a piece of debris of unknown origin, the most detailed caption I could find was:
"However, what makes this picture truly unique is the second small projectile in the upper left hand portion of the image. According to the author, the projectile may be a piece of the bullet or part of the charge. Inspection of the wave syatem generated by the projectile reveals that it is clearly traveling transonically rather than supersonically. The bow shock is seen to be fully detached from the nose. Further evidence that the projectile is traveling at a lower speed than the bullet is the slope of the shock waves which is larger than that of the bullet. That is, the shocks stand at a larger angle to the horizontal than the shocks on the bullet. I think that this picture yields a nice comparison of some of the differences between transonic and supersonic flow."
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 17th, 2013 at 12:25 AM.
Could be, could be. For someone who draws guns all day I know bugger all about them really. Not really a big fan of real humans being shot.
This is rather pleasant though.
The object that exploded over russia the other day is roughly the same size and mass as the one that hit the south western US about 50k years ago and dug out the Barringer Crater. Its an impressive place if youre in the area.
Fortunately the russian rock came in at a shallow angle or instead of some smashed windows the whole place wouldve been set on fire and a large area utterly devastated.
It was also similar but smaller than the object that exploded over Tunguska in 1908 at a few KM altitude flattening thousands of square miles of forest and unleashed the alien black oil stuff in the XFiles.
We dodged a cosmic bullet twice that day I guess. Pretty unlucky and tremedously fortunate at the same time..
Comet Schumacker Levi broke up and collided with Jupiter in 1994.
Ther were 21 fragments, the largest of which, G, struck Jupiter at 134000mph. It released energy equivalent to around 6million megatonnes (600 times the worlds total nuclear arsenal) at once, created an impact scar as wide as earth, and a mushroom cloud 6000miles tall. Shockfronts spread out at 200miles per second.
If any of the fragments had struck earth it wouldve been scoured clean of life more complex than algae.
Last edited by Velocity Kendall; February 17th, 2013 at 02:15 AM.
Comet ISON arrives later this year, it could be visible during the daytime.
There was also a second meteor reported above Cuba on the 15th.
I love science, but sometimes when you take a step back and see how violent the universe is, I get washed over by this sense of hopelessness. That Russia meteor was crazy though because I heard about the much larger asteroid that was supposed to miss us, and someone called me and said "Yo, did you hear about the meteor that hit Russia?". Obviously my brain just thought the scientists were wrong that the football field sized asteroid hit... I was like holy shit... that's armageddon stuff.
Luckily it was a lot smaller and the only injuries were from shards of glass being blown out.
Yeah the vast majority of the universe is utterly hostile to us little tiny people.
Those supermassive black holes I posted above sweep their host galaxies clean of loose gas and dust, throttling star formation and irradiating any worlds already extant. Bummer.
On the other hand, stars are more simple than the simplest single celled organism, so we're pretty cool. And so long as we dont fuck things up too badly we should be gardening the galaxy in 1000 years!
And we're made of the stuff... star stuff, that is.
From Gegarin's point of view
we are all made of cars!
I was sitting with my 4 day old baby on my lap when I heard on the news that if the meteor would have been two minutes earlier it would have hit the city I live in instead. Things like that can make you think about the larger scope of things.
My sketchbook http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=128951
What is it with Russians and dashboard cams?
Haven't watched the Daily Show in a long time.
But that segment made me laugh...
So unfazed good lord.