Amazing Videos Of Meteor Over Russia

February 15th, 2013

Share

For those who do not know (which is probably nobody at this point) a very rare event occurred yesterday in Russia, when a large meteor entered the earth’s atmosphere, burning up and producing a massive shock wave as it crashed to earth.

At present, it remains uncertain if any parts of the meteor managed to reach the surface of earth intact or if it was completely vaporized in the upper atmosphere.  Reports indicate large portions may have crashed into a frozen lake.  The nature of any material that may have reached the surface remains unknown.

Initial reports indicate that the force of the shock wave produced may have been greater than three hundred kilotons.   Thankfully, because the meteor’s trajectory kept it mostly over sparsely populated areas and because the explosion happened at a high altitude, the damage to civilization was not nearly as bad as a ground-level blast of similar magnitude would cause.  Still, there was moderate damage, including broken windows and even collapsed roofs due to the overpressure generated.   Upwards of one thousand people were injured, though most seem to be non life-threatening. Many of the injuries were caused by broken glass.   There are unconfirmed reports of a handful of deaths.

The meteor does not seem to be related to the passing of asteroid 2012 DA14, which came within less than 35,000 kilometers of the earth today.   The two events are uncanny in their closeness, as both are exceptionally rare.  While it is not uncommon for chunks of an asteroid to break off and follow similar orbits, the Russian meteor appears to have come from a completely different trajectory, unrelated in any way to 2012 DA14.

The event has been compared to the Tunguska Event of 1908, although Tunguska was clearly much larger.   Additionally, at this early stage, the exact nature of the meteor that struck Russia yesterday has not been fully established.   More will be known as scientists analyze information such as videos, damage reports and seismographic data.

The fact that both this incident and the Tunguska event occurred in Russia as also coincidental.  They were in completely different parts of the country, and it should be noted that Russia covers almost 1/5 of the land surface of the planet, making it a large target for such events.

There have been other meteor air bursts.  Few have been this large, at least in recent history.

However, what makes this event truly unique is that it occurred in an inhabited region in a day and age where video cameras are almost everywhere.  The city of Chelyabinsk is not far from where the event occurred.  It has a population of more than one million.   In years past, such completely unexpected events would be unlikely to be captured on video.  Today, however, video cameras and recorders are so common that any inhabited area will have literally thousands of cameras recording at any given time.   Security cameras, cameras on vehicle dashboards (now becoming common on some fleet vehicles for liability and security reasons), amateurs taking cell phone videos and webcams all offer the potential to catch such events, even when completely unanticipated.

As a result, we already have a number of truly amazing videos of the event:

Note the shockwave that is evident in many videos, occurring many seconds after the meteor becomes visible.


It’s worth cruising Youtube for more videos. Since this event is still so recent, there are likely to be more first hand videos uploaded in the hours and days to come.

The videos of this event are more than just a spectacular curiosity. With so many high quality videos, taken at known locations, it should be possible to determine the trajectory of the meteor, the altitude at which it exploded and the nature of the event with unprecedented levels of precision.

In 1992, a meteor streaked across the skies of West Virginia. By sheer dumb luck, the fireball occurred during the height of football season, on a Friday night, when many high school teams were playing, and many parents were out with their camcorders to record the games. As a result, sixteen amateur video tapes captured the fireball, allowing scientists to plot its speed and trajectory by reviewing the videos. The quantity and quality of video of the Russian meteor fireball will dwarf the 1992 Peekskill meteor event in both quantity and quality.

Edit:

There were some early reports that the Russian military “shot down” the meteor with a missile. It’s highly unlikely that they fired any missiles at it, and even if they had, there’s not much that one can do to “shoot down” a meteor like this. It’s already on its way down and no missile is going to be able to stop a giant ball of rock and metal with that much kinetic energy.

Some in the Russian government have also stated that they wish to address what can be done to defend from this type of event. The answer is basically nothing, not that it really is necessary. Events of this type are so exceptionally rare that they are hardly worth worrying about. Even if the meteor was detected just as it began to enter the earth’s atmosphere and a rapid response could be mounted, there is no way to “intercept” it in any meaningful way. The only possible response would be to give warning to the population to take shelter and stand clear of windows. However, given how rare this kind of thing is, it’s questionable whether the cost of some type of warning system could be justified.

It is possible that an object headed toward earth could be deflected from ever reaching the planet, either by a standoff explosion or by applying a force from a rocket or by some other method, such as a solar sail, laser ablation of the surface etc. A variety of such schemes have been suggested for large asteroids, which could threaten mankind. However, an object this small is unlikely to be detected early enough to mount a response. And, again, given the relative danger, it’s hard to justify spending billions on keeping an arsenal of deep-space interceptors on constant alert.

As powerful as these kind of events can be, I really would not spend too much time worrying about it.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 15th, 2013 at 7:37 pm and is filed under Good Science, Misc, Space. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
View blog reactions

28 Responses to “Amazing Videos Of Meteor Over Russia”

  1. 1
    drjim Says:

    YOW!!!


    Quote Comment
  2. 2
    Tom Says:

    This video is amazing to see what happened indoors from just the pressure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kvHl5Qcnzc

    Must have been a real shock to those who were inside or not looking and didn’t even realize anything was up until BANG.

    I had not considered that the videos might have some scientific value though. That’s pretty cool, when you think about it, that all the iphones and stuff in the world might actually sometimes capture something important for science


    Quote Comment
  3. 3
    fireofenergy Says:

    Good post!


    Quote Comment
  4. 4
    Mark Says:

    And how long until the loonies come out of the woodwork and start claiming this was the result of chemtrails or haarp or some other convoluted conspiracy?

    By the way, these kind of things might not be as rare as once thought. This one being unusually large, but having a meteor hit the atmosphere and cause a shock wave or a blast that is equivalent to a few kilotons of tnt or more may happen as much as every couple of years. You can get a pretty good sized explosion and not have very much effect on the ground if it is at a high enough altitude. Only the really really big ones would have any kind of impact like this. It goes completely unnoticed if it happens in the middle of the ocean.

    One thing I did read some time ago (long before this happening) is that a good sized meteor burst could take down a plane that is unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It would not need to hit the plant or anything. The concussion is strong enough on its own to down a jet if it is close enough.

    Like they say above there is nothing you could really do to avoid that other than just take comfort in the fact that it’s less than a billion to one it would ever happen to you.


    Quote Comment
  5. 5
    DV82XL Says:

    Three hundred kilotons – that’s quite a bang.


    Quote Comment
  6. 6
    John Says:

    Every video i have seen shows the shock wave coming in quite a while after the meteor is visible. Many don’t even show the meteor, just the cloud it left behind, so you can assume it took long enough for the person to get a camera and turn it on. From this it can be inferred that the meteor must have been some distance away. Also it was pretty low in the sky in most.

    I’d really like to know what video exists that can be pegged as being closest to the epicenter, since most of these seem to be far enough away that we’re not seeing the blast at its most dramatic.


    Quote Comment
  7. 7
    Frank Says:

    “here is no way to “intercept” it in any meaningful way”

    Not unless you use a frikken laser beam!

    BTW, CNN have been exploring the possibility on how global warming may have cause this event -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObU7awpJctQ


    Quote Comment
  8. 8
    Matte Says:

    Good grief!? Global warming caused this? Well, the anchor is blond so that explains it pretty well to me…


    Quote Comment
  9. 9
    Blubba Says:

            Matte said:

    Good grief!? Global warming caused this? Well, the anchor is blond so that explains it pretty well to me…

    NPR made a point of saying radiation levels in the area were normal after the event. Apparently it is normal for people with little interest in science to think that would be a reasonable concern.


    Quote Comment
  10. 10
    Q Says:

            Blubba said:

    NPR made a point of saying radiation levels in the area were normal after the event. Apparently it is normal for people with little interest in science to think that would be a reasonable concern.

    Better headlines to grab attention and get some ratings:

    “Radiation detected in the area around Russian meteor”
    “More than 48 hours after meteor event, scientists have not detected any decline in radiation levels”
    “Scientists say dramatic meteor light show actually a result (thermal) radiation” (feel free to leave out thermal)
    “Even thousands of miles from the meteor, scientists detect radiation”


    Quote Comment
  11. 11
    James Greenidge Says:

    Why aren’t we seeing new lunar impacts or cratering? These would seem far more observable than earth crashers in every way. Do earthbound telescopes have the resolution to daily monitor the moon’s face and detect such?


    Quote Comment
  12. 12
    Kurt Cooper Says:

    The Tunguska event was in 1908 (on june 30th), not in 1909.


    Quote Comment
  13. 13
    Robert Sneddon Says:

            James Greenidge said:

    Why aren’t we seeing new lunar impacts or cratering? These would seem far more observable than earth crashers in every way. Do earthbound telescopes have the resolution to daily monitor the moon’s face and detect such?

    Naked-eye observations of Lunar cratering happening have been claimed in the past, amateurs reporting flashes of light on the surface suggesting an impact event but it’s difficult to prove. Professional observers don’t look at the Moon much as it’s been observed to death in the past and simple imaging doesn’t add much to our store of information. Older images were made on film which produces a snapshot, not a video of an ongoing event. Furthermore most impact craters will be small and pretty much undetectable even with modern sensors on Lunar orbiting satellites. There’s also the problem that half the lunar surface is not visible from Earth so a major impact event could take place there and not be noticed unless an observer spacecraft just happened to be in the right place at the right time looking in the right direction — most Lunar observers fly close to the surface taking detailed pictures but not covering a wide area. In contrast the only satellites that caught the Russian meteor’s trail in the atmosphere were weather satellites in high orbit imaging thousands of square kilometres of the Earth’s surface.


    Quote Comment
  14. 14
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Kurt Cooper said:

    The Tunguska event was in 1908 (on june 30th), not in 1909.

    OOps. Thanks. Corrected

            James Greenidge said:

    Why aren’t we seeing new lunar impacts or cratering? These would seem far more observable than earth crashers in every way. Do earthbound telescopes have the resolution to daily monitor the moon’s face and detect such?

    They do happen and are observed from time to time.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/lunar/

    They are mostly pretty small, but in general we probably miss the vast majority of them. The smallest are invisible to the observation systems. We completely miss those on the far side of the moon, those which are in areas of the moon that are too bright to see a flash or those which are on the far side of the moon.

    LACROSS also saw some tiny flashes, but they were so small it’s hard to be sure if they were impacts or just noise on the CCD array, such as might be caused by cosmic rays.

    There are some reports that indicate there may have been a major impact event in 1178 – perhaps the largest in recorded history. The best recorded accounts came from some European monks. Unfortunately, given the timing, it’s very hard to know for sure very much about it.

    It has been proposed that this was the event that caused the Giordano Bruno crater.

    There may also have been an event in the mid 1800′s, based on some reports of changes in the appearance of the moon from experienced observers.

    There have been no major impact events – large enough to produce significant craters since the moon was mapped during the Apollo project. At least, none that have been noted, based on observation.

    (I should say no natural ones – we crashed some S-IVB stages and a Centaur stage into the moon – if that counts)

    It should be noted that since the moon has no atmosphere, an impact will nor produce a long trail or anything like that.

    Sadly, we no longer have the capabilities we once did to get lunar data. Between 1969 and 1977 we had a network of seismometers on the moon, as part of the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package. Those could be detected impacts that might not have been seen from earth.

    Unfortunately they were shut down in 1977 because of budget cuts. Had they not been, they probably would not be working today, because the thermoelectric converters degrade over time. They would, however, been able to work for some time longer.


    Quote Comment
  15. 15
    patrick Says:

            Blubba said:

    NPR made a point of saying radiation levels in the area were normal after the event. Apparently it is normal for people with little interest in science to think that would be a reasonable concern.

    It is a very reasonable concern, if it had been the remnants of a nuclear powered satellite. The Soviets put a bunch of them up there.


    Quote Comment
  16. 16
    DV82XL Says:

            patrick said:

    It is a very reasonable concern, if it had been the remnants of a nuclear powered satellite. The Soviets put a bunch of them up there.

    This was not a satellite re-entry, and I doubt that anyone thought so.


    Quote Comment
  17. 17
    Grahm Says:

    So lets think about this here. We had an asteroid that could destroy us all just miss the planet by a hair, which it almost never does and the SAME DAY we get a meteor that is bigger than anything in recent history. Turns out they are not related? and also, FYI, big meteors in Cuba and California.

    What are the chances?

    Lets rethink this. We have these meteors that could kill us all and they make a point to give a shot across the bow. Shows what could happen.

    Maybe someone is trying to tell us something. Maybe someone is saying “please don’t make me do this to you I do not want to.” Maybe someone is remding us all he is there.

    Take a look at the world. Gays are being allowed all over the place and marriage is now turning legal. Look at Europe. They have men marrying men in more countries every year. More in the US and now they say they want to turn it into a right to be gay and nobody can even call you wrong for it.

    More sex and pornography is being sold than ever before and the internet is full of it so anyone can get their fill of pornography 24/7 and they keep making more.

    More atheists taking things over and making Christians illegal. They have kicked god out of all our schools. No prayer in schools allowed. No crosses in classrooms. No more morality in our education system. Lies and evolution being called science and forced to everyone.

    Atheists now in chrage of more countries. Australia has an atheist running things. US President telling us all ahtiests are ok with him.

    Less people going to church. More money going out there to the greedy. People shooting each-other.

    There’s a reason for this. These meteors are no coincidence. There is a reason nobody got killed but enough people got hurt to take notice of it.

    How much more obvious do you want it? Shape up and clean up or next time it won’t miss. This kind of sin can’t be tolerated. Read your Bible and learn that when everyone becomes wicked, things change!


    Quote Comment
  18. 18
    Anon Says:

            Grahm said:

    So lets think about this here. We had an asteroid that could destroy us all just miss the planet by a hair,

    No it couldn’t, that one was too small (unless it were somehow moving a lot faster than any asteroid could).

            Grahm said:

    which it almost never does and the SAME DAY we get a meteor that is bigger than anything in recent history. Turns out they are not related?

    You know what would be a real miracle?

    Co-incidences never happening.

            Grahm said:

    Maybe someone is trying to tell us something.

    Yeah, maybe they’re telling us to stop oppressing gays and just let them marry.

            Grahm said:

    More sex and pornography is being sold than ever before and the internet is full of it so anyone can get their fill of pornography 24/7 and they keep making more.

    Interesting that it’s the more religious states in the US which buy more porn.

            Grahm said:

    More atheists taking things over and making Christians illegal.

    Why would we want to make Christianity illegal? It’s dying out on its own just fine (not that the process couldn’t use some speeding up but I’d like the victory of atheism over religion to be a legitimate one, unlike the Christian victory over the Pagans).

            Grahm said:

    They have kicked god out of all our schools.

    Can’t kick out something that doesn’t exist.

            Grahm said:

    Less people going to church. More money going out there to the greedy. People shooting each-other.

    Interesting that crime rates tend to be higher where church attendance is high.

            Grahm said:

    This kind of sin can’t be tolerated. Read your Bible and learn that when everyone becomes wicked, things change!

    Even in the unlikely event there is a god, you do not know what that god wants and it is every bit as likely that a god would want to allow gays to marry as to kill them.

    The bible is but one of many books of fiction.


    Quote Comment
  19. 19
    BMS Says:

            Anon said:

    Yeah, maybe they’re telling us to stop oppressing gays and just let them marry.

    Maybe the meteors are telling us that they really, really like porn, and they’re coming here to go clubbing at a joint with some hot boy-on-boy action. ;-)


    Quote Comment
  20. 20
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Grahm said:

    What are the chances?

    I’m not sure how accurate the reports in Cuba and California are. I do know there is video of a fireball in California, but I don’t know how large it was. Small fireballs are not entirely uncommon and it may just be these got more press coverage because of the circumstances.

    However, I will grant you that it’s pretty damn unlikely. However, here is the thing: Given enough time, pretty damn unlikely stuff does happen.

            Anon said:

    Why would we want to make Christianity illegal? It’s dying out on its own just fine (not that the process couldn’t use some speeding up but I’d like the victory of atheism over religion to be a legitimate one, unlike the Christian victory over the Pagans).

    If you wanted to reduce Christianity then I think trying to make it illegal might actually be counter-productive. It’s a bit of a paradox, but societies that worked hard to discourage religion often ended up with much stronger religion than those which did not.

    Poland tried to keep the Catholic Church down for most of its history as a Communist state and today Poland is the most religious Catholic country in Europe. The Soviet Union tried to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, but eventually decided that would be impossible and would not be accepted by the population. They still tried to discourage it. But today, Russia is more religious than most countries.

    I think the reason is that there is a natural human tendency to resist forcibly having your beliefs taken. There are a lot of casually religious people – people who go to church on Christmas and Easter for example. If you try to take away their beliefs, they become so insulted by it, they will be driven toward being fanatically religious.

    The only time the by force method works at all is if you are willing to just kill whole damn populations, which is what Christians did. I don’t think anyone would propose that.

    It would causes the religions of the world to dig their heels in more. It would result in a conflict which we probably would not win given the way the population is stacked.

    If you wish to oppose religion effectively, education and freedom seem to be its biggest enemies.


    Quote Comment
  21. 21
    Gordon Says:

    My view on religion, and I am an atheist, is that I simply do not care about it as long as it does not cause me problems or cause pain and suffering to others.

    If you want to pray, if you want to go to church, if you want to hang a cross in your house or not eat pork or anything like that, I am completely fine with it. It’s none of my business how you live your life.

    I get angry when you try to use it to make me do things.

    Gays and per-marital sex and pornography etc are none of my business or yours either. If you don’t like it, don’t get involved. If consenting adults want to be in a same-sex relationship, I don’t see why I or anyone else should be able to stop them. If they want to buy dirty magazines for their own viewing at home, it’s none of my business or yours either.


    Quote Comment
  22. 22
    Arcanyn Says:

            Grahm said:

    So lets think about this here. We had an asteroid that could destroy us all just miss the planet by a hair, which it almost never does and the SAME DAY we get a meteor that is bigger than anything in recent history. Turns out they are not related?

    and also, FYI, big meteors in Cuba and California.

    What are the chances?

    Lets rethink this. We have these meteors that could kill us all and they make a point to give a shot across the bow. Shows what could happen.

    Maybe someone is trying to tell us something.

    Maybe someone is saying “please don’t make me do this to you I do not want to.”

    Maybe someone is remding us all he is there.

    Yes, it’s clearly Horus warning us of the dreadful consequences that will result should people continue to worship the false god of Christianity. The signs are unmistakable! We must repent before the true gods decide to show how nice they are by laying waste to the entire planet!


    Quote Comment
  23. 23
    Blubba Says:

            DV82XL said:

    This was not a satellite re-entry, and I doubt that anyone thought so.

    Agreed. Satellites are tracked closely and when one becomes disabled everybody knows well in advance when it will re-enter. My own suspicion is that the energy released was expressed in Hiroshima bomb equivalents and the liberal arts majors at NPR took that association literally.


    Quote Comment
  24. 24
    dmarxa Says:

    what’s the harm of little idi*ts?

    ….

    ,,

    monstrous.com/forum/index.php?topic=13908.0


    Quote Comment
  25. 25
    Anon Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    If you wanted to reduce Christianity then I think trying to make it illegal might actually be counter-productive. It’s a bit of a paradox, but societies that worked hard to discourage religion often ended up with much stronger religion than those which did not.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, whilst the communist countries didn’t do as well at removing Christianity as the Scandinavian countries with state-churches they do for the most part have relatively low levels of religiosity for their standard of living (and this is still the case even when they got rid of communism, though there was an increase in self-described Christians as closest Christians decided to admit to being religious and some nationalists became culturally religious) so I do think that oppression can work at reducing religion, just that it doesn’t work as well as high standards of living.

            drbuzz0 said:

    I think the reason is that there is a natural human tendency to resist forcibly having your beliefs taken. There are a lot of casually religious people – people who go to church on Christmas and Easter for example. If you try to take away their beliefs, they become so insulted by it, they will be driven toward being fanatically religious.

    Most people go along with oppression, they may not like it but they’d be alive than a martyr.

            drbuzz0 said:

    The only time the by force method works at all is if you are willing to just kill whole damn populations, which is what Christians did.

    I don’t think you’d need to go that far, just be willing to take generations (it took the Christians hundreds of years to stamp out paganism), providing economic benefits to those who aren’t religious (which the communists did) if it were kept up long enough might actually work.

            drbuzz0 said:

    It would causes the religions of the world to dig their heels in more. It would result in a conflict which we probably would not win given the way the population is stacked.

    Demographics would indicate that.

            drbuzz0 said:

    If you wish to oppose religion effectively, education and freedom seem to be its biggest enemies.

    It also has the advantage of those being things that are worth doing on their own and which even the moderately religious would be pretty big on.


    Quote Comment
  26. 26
    Shafe Says:

            Arcanyn said:

    Yes, it’s clearly Horus warning us of the dreadful consequences that will result should people continue to worship the false god of Christianity.

    Don’t be ridiculous!

    The asteroid and meteors are part of a protracted publicity campaign by gay Hollywood Jews to promote the upcoming film, “Brokeback Apocalypse,” in which Palestinian freedom fighters raid Israel’s nuclear stockpile and fire them into space on a monkey-piloted Iranian rocket to deflect a depleted uranium asteroid that was aimed at Earth by zionist neo-con bankers to deliver space-AIDS to gay and minority 99%-ers. Duh!

    George Clooney will make an awesome monkey pilot.


    Quote Comment
  27. 27
    Tom Says:

    Been reading this blog for a while and it seems like the author is knowledgeable about nuclear weapons and when they were tested. According to the news reports the 300 kiloton figure is just their first estimate. Since the author knows about this, can he tell us if that is consistent with the damage on the ground?


    Quote Comment
  28. 28
    drbuzz0 Says:

    A relatively large nuclear weapon can produce relatively light damage with things like roofs caving in and broken glass, but no substantial structural damage. That is, if the altitude is high enough.

    But really, this is a poor comparison. You can approximate the explosive force, but they are different animals.

    A nuclear bomb has energy all bottled up inside the bomb and the at one point, it explodes and the energy is all released out from that point, basically as a spherical explosion.

    The meteor is different. As it enters the atmosphere, it forms a pressure wave in front of it. It may break up or vaporize as it travels and if it does, it changes from a single object to be more spread out. The shock wave is like an inverted cone that travels with it and spreads out, impacting the ground as it passes.

    It’s not like this energy is released at a single altitude either. That can have an effect on how much is felt on the ground versus being dissipated into space. It is spread and distributed differently along the path of the meteor.

    Right now they have pretty good data to peg the equivalent explosive energy at more than a couple hundred kilotons.

    BUT.. it just is not a perfect apples to apples comparison


    Quote Comment

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *

Please copy the string aSmXeW to the field below:

*

Protected by WP Anti Spam