According to www.NorthJersey.com/Moscow(AP) the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia got a frightening surprise when a meteor sped across the sky in a trail of thick smoke. However, it was the sudden explosion caused when the meteor crashed he sound barrier at a speed of about 33,000 mph and coming within 17,000 miles of earth. There was a bright flash of light and the explosion left a trail 300 miles long causing widespread panic, bursting more than 1 million square feet of glass and damaging about 3,00 buildings.
The explosion followed by the flying shards of broken glass caused about 1,100 injuries. There were 48 who were hospitalized.
It is reported that the explosion occurred 12 to 15 miles high and released between 300 to 500 kilotons of energy, unleashing a force comparable to 20 times more powerful than the bomb at Hiroshima.
Thankfully, according to Amy Mainzer, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the atmosphere acted like a shield by absorbing the greater part of the energy.
So far there have been no deaths reported and no one has been reported to have been struck by fragments of the space rock.
A 26-foot crater occurred in the ice covered reservoir just outside of Chebarkul when fragments of the meteor landed there. This was according to the regional Interior Ministry office.
It’s interesting to note that a nationalist leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky actually blamed the Americans for the explosion and damage. In a statement to the RIA Novosti news agency, Zhirinovsky said, “It’s not meteors falling. It’s the test of a new weapon by the Americans.”
Deputy Prime Minister Smitry Rogozin stated that this incident proved that there is a great need to develop a system that would intercept meteors or any object falling from space. Apparently neither they nor us have technologies to do so.
It may be helpful to understand what happened by explaining that these fragments start out a meteoroids or small pieces of comets or asteroids in a collision course with earth. When they enter the earth’s atmosphere they become meteors and usually burn up in the atmosphere. However, if they survive and strike the earth, they are called meteorites.
In 1908 a meteor hit Tunguska, Siberia and flattened about 80 million trees. It is about 3,000 miles east of Chelyablink.
According to Russian experts, had fragments of the meteor that hit Chelyabinsk, fallen near their nuclear and chemical weapons facilities, it could have had a much more serious result.
It was reported by the RIA Novosti news agency that in the midst of all the confusion and panic, some people smashed their windows in hopes of being compensated for them.
Others went on the internet and put what they described as meteorite fragments up for sale. You’ve got to hand it to them; they do have a “creative” entrepreneurial spirit although not very ethical.
Another notable thing about this meteorite is that it came in a more populated area than others in previous incidences and was extremely more visible than usual. It was also one that took everyone by surprise. Apparently there were no signs to tell scientists this one was coming. They are also saying it is probably a once in a lifetime event. Time will tell and hopefully if it ever does happen again that scientists will have found the technology necessary to detect and intercept a sudden phenomenon like this one.
Nature is becoming more and more unpredictable. Maybe Mother Nature is showing her displeasure with the evil and destruction going on in so many parts of the world and is giving us warnings in hopes that people will stop being so destructive and take better care of our world. Is that even possible? Nation is fighting against nation and people are fighting against each other; both sides convinced that they are right.
With temperatures in the city expected to drop 4 Fahrenheit degrees below zero overnight,the regional governor sent out a call for anyone who knows how to repair windows. Hopefully the damage to the buildings in Chelyabinsk will be fixed quickly so that the people there will not have to endure the cold temperatures for long.
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