Here Comes the Boom!!!
Meteroids are small pieces of space debris that are on a collision course with the Earth. They become meteors when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, if they strike the Earth’s surface they are called meteorites.
On Friday February 15, 2013 at 9:30 in the city of Chelyabinsk a meteor flew across the sky. Estimated to be about ten tons and forty nine feet wide, it entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of 33,000 mph and shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground. There was a big burst of light and a really loud thundering sound. The meteor hit less than a day before Asteroid 2012 DA14 is to make the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to Earth, about 17,150 miles.
The meteor released several kilotons of energy. Some meterorite fragments fell in a reservoir outside of the town of Chebarkul. It left a twenty six foot wide crater in the ice. The shock wave blew more than one million square feet of glass. Over 3,000 buildings in the city were damaged.
Over 1,100 people were injured after the shock wave and about forty eight of them were hospitalized. Most injuries were caused by flying glass. There has been no word of any deaths related to the meteorite.
Meteors usually cause large sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are traveling faster than the speed of sound, but they rarely ever cause the number of injuries it caused when this particular meteorite hit Russia.
The huge explosion of glass windows left many residents exposed to the cold as temperatures in the city dropped to about negative four degrees Fahrenheit. The government urged any worker who could pane windows to rush to the area to help out.
The meteor could have produced many serious problems. Chelyabinsk is an industrial town that is one of the world’s most polluted areas. The area around it hosts nuclear and chemical weapons disposal facilities. The meteor struck sixty miles