People heading for work while it was still dark in Chelyabinsk Russia (Urals region) and nearby regions were amazed by a meteorite streaking across the sky and exploding, leaving some impact sites and injuring over 500 people. It seems the object would have weighed about 10 tons, and was moving at a glancing angle at perhaps 30 km/s [~ 67,500 mph; U/D: later estimates a bit less than half that] -- much faster than any human-made rocket.
Russia Today has a composite, embeddable video (update, youtube):
(Original seems to have gone down. This vid, Sun evening Feb 17, stands at 7,340,525 hits)
Russia Today reports:
Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.A sobering reminder of what is possible.
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Eyewitness accounts of the meteorite phenomenon, handpicked by RT.
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers, local newspaper Znak reports quoting a source in the military.
Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses. [--> Comment: given the speed estimate, most unlikely.]
Army units found three meteorite debris impact sites, two of which are in an area near Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk. The third site was found some 80 kilometers further to the northwest, near the town of Zlatoust. One of the fragments that struck near Chebarkul left a crater six meters in diameter.
Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite: “According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”
According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 10 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.
As of 14:30 Moscow time, 514 people have sought medical attention in the disaster area, 112 of whom have been hospitalized .Among the injured there are 84 children, Emergency ministry reported.
It should be noted, that European Russia plus Siberia are the largest patch of East-West aligned land in the world, dominating the Northern Hemisphere.
In a perhaps unrelated development, NASA expects a close earth brush of an asteroid today, Feb 15th:
|NASA projection of asteroid flyby within the 22,300 mile radius ring of Geostationary satellites that are vital for telecomms services|
NASA Television will provide commentary starting at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) on Friday, Feb. 15, during the close, but safe, flyby of a small near-Earth asteroid named 2012 DA14. NASA places a high priority on tracking asteroids and protecting our home planet from them. This flyby will provide a unique opportunity for researchers to study a near-Earth object up close.
The half-hour broadcast from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., will incorporate real-time animation to show the location of the asteroid in relation to Earth, along with live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting.This very near pass is again a warning of the hazards that we face from Asteroid impact.
At the time of its closest approach to Earth at approximately 11:25 a.m. PST (2:25 p.m. EST / 19:25 UTC), the asteroid will be about 17,150 miles (27,600 kilometers) above Earth's surface.
The commentary will be available via NASA TV and streamed live online at: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv and http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2
In addition to the commentary, near real-time imagery of the asteroid's flyby before and after closest approach, made available to NASA by astronomers in Australia and Europe, weather permitting, will be streamed beginning at about 9 a.m. PST (noon EST) and continuing through the afternoon at the following website: http://www.ustream.tv/nasajpl2
Bible prophecy fans, of course are looking at Rev 8 as the trumpet judgements sound on willfully rebellious man at the very end of days:
Rev 8: 1 Now1 when the Lamb2 opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 Then1 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. 3 Another1 angel holding2 a golden censer3 came and was stationed4 at the altar. A5 large amount of incense was given to him to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar that is before the throne. 4 The smoke coming from the incense, along with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.note 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth, and there were crashes of thunder, roaring, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.
6 Now the seven angels holding the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.Quite an interesting parallel, where also we note that the soldiers in Russia are currently testing for radiation contamination/poisoning due to the impact.
7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there was hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was thrown at the earth so that a third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.
8 Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain of burning fire was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures living in the sea died, and a third of the ships were completely destroyed.
10 Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star burning like a torch fell from the sky; it landed on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 (Now the name of the star is Wormwood.) So a third of the waters became wormwood, and many people died from these waters because they were poisoned . . .
(Just to stir the pot, let me suggest a "sci fi" scenario here. Two rapid succession asteroid impacts. First, slower, hits ocean like a mountain afire -- probably Pacific, perhaps Atlantic. Second, faster and utterly incandescent, air burst over the Eurasian and possibly African landmass.)
Muy interesante. END