A huge meteorite flared through the skies over Russia's Chelyabinsk region early Friday morning, triggering a powerful shock wave that injured nearly a thousand people, blew out windows and reportedly caused the roof of a factory to collapse, officials from Roscosmos, said on Friday, Russia’s federal space agency.
According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Asteroid 2012 DA14 made a safe flyby of Earth at 2:25 p.m. EST on Friday.
“Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point,” NASA said in a press statement. “In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14's trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north."
The meteor is the largest since the Tunguska event in 1908, Roscosmos said. “Impact was at 9:20 a.m. local time (10:20 p.m. Thursday in the U.S.). The meteor is being estimated at 15 meters (50 feet) in size, one-third of the size of asteroid 2012 DA14. It grazed across the atmosphere, where the meteor trail was visible for less than 30 seconds. The meteor was also brighter than the Sun, Roscosmos said.
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