Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russia

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Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russia

Postby sheershoff » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:21 am

About one and a half hour ago a large meteor was seen near Chelyabinsk, Russia. Time will tell whether it is meteor or meteorite. Strong booms could be caused by the explosion of the meteor in air, and the destructive consequence could be caused by the blast wave. Until meteorites are recovered one should think of it as of meteor and potential meteorite.

It was around 9:30 am, so many people witnessed the event. There are already some videos on youtube from car videoregistrators and cell phones. The blast wave shattered windows glasses. There's a photo of a warehouse that was probably hit by a piece of meteorite.

Some videos include swears in Russian, I apologize for that.

Most spectacular videos:

Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


Video with the blast wave (turn sound on)
Click to play embedded YouTube video.


More videos and pictures in my twitter. https://twitter.com/search/realtime?q=meteorite+sheershoff&src=typd

You'll probably will see more in the news soon. :) Just wanted to inform the forum readers.
Last edited by sheershoff on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:07 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk, Russia

Postby Beyond » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:46 am

The second video is the best :!: :yes: :thumb_up:
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Re: Meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk, Russia

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:54 am

sheershoff wrote:About one and a half hour ago a meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Meteor, not meteorite. Whether any meteorites were produced remains to be seen. Large fireballs like this often do result in meteorites, especially when they descend low enough to produce sonic booms, as are being reported with this event. However, the large disruption event suggests that more than 99% of the original material burned up. If meteorites are recovered, I wouldn't be surprised if it's only a few kilos of small stones.
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Re: Meteorite fell near Chelyabinsk, Russia

Postby sheershoff » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:57 am

Chris, agree. Until no meteorites of the event recovered on soil one whould suggest it a potential meteorite or meteor. I'll try to change the title.
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APOD: Shadows Across Jupiter (2013 Feb 15)

Postby Neutrino » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:15 am

Tomorrow's APOD must be about big asteroid in Chelyabinsk (Russia). This happend today 15.02.13 9:20 local time.
Some videos from car registrators and mobile phones:
http://youtu.be/4ZxXYscmgRg
http://youtu.be/LFsZitw6CKk
http://youtu.be/7c-0iwBEswE
http://youtu.be/b0cRHsApzt8
http://youtu.be/C9TWZ82zqJY
http://youtu.be/qch-pIEgf44
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby MargaritaMc » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:53 am

"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Ann » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:31 pm

Hundreds of people injured. That's definitely a historic first, at least if we talk about recent or even recorded history. Nothing similar is known, although it may of course have happened before.

It is interesting that it happened in Russia, not too far (or so I believe) from where the 1908 Tunguska event took place.

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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby RJN » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:05 pm

Really interesting! Please keep posting the best YouTube videos you can find on this meteor here. This topic is sure to be an APOD, although exactly when I don't yet know. - RJN
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby neufer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


<<The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry, Vadim Kolesnikov, as saying that the fireball caused an explosion and sonic boom that broke windows in Chelyabinsk, 1,500 kilometers east of Moscow. Reuters cited figures from Russia's Emergencies Ministry saying that 514 people had sought medical help, mainly for light injuries caused by flying glass, and that 112 of those were hospitalized.>>
Last edited by neufer on Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby RJN » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:23 pm

Searching through YouTube videos, here's another one. (I would expect many more exist since I understand dashcams are common in Russia.) - RJN
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:57 pm

Additional observations:

When we see the more distant videos, the meteor is seen to undergo a disruption event, after which the remaining material looks like it burns off. I presume that the videos showing the curious double smoke trail were made underneath the disruption event. The shock wave arrives more than 30 seconds after that event- perhaps 60 seconds or more. That places the height of the event at 10-20 km.

It is nearly certain that material survived to the ground, although I haven't seen credible reports of that yet. There are lots of clearly bogus reports, as well as outright faked or misattributed images.

This fell in Russia, a country with a culture that is deeply engrossed by pseudoscience and has one of the most credulous populations of any developed nation. Big fireballs falling in such places tend to result in some rather extreme reports, so everything here needs to be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism. I expect the number of actual injuries is smaller, and mainly caused by glass that shattered when the shock wave hit. If past events are any indication, there will also be many reports that simply reflect hysteria.

While some parallels have been drawn to the Tunguska event, the more interesting comparison is with the Sikhote-Alin fall of 1947. It occurred on February 12, which is very close to the February 15 date of this event. At about 100 tons, it may have been similar in size to this. Sikhote-Alin was iron, which allowed it to survive very deep in the atmosphere, with the terminal explosion occurring at around 6 km. This low explosion resulted in a remarkable 20% of the original mass surviving- some reaching the ground without losing all its cosmic velocity, producing some small craters. Almost all meteoroids are stony, not iron, and the atmospheric trails of large fireballs are usually very smoky. For the size of this event, the trail seems very thin to me. For that reason, I would not be surprised if it was an iron. It clearly exploded much higher than Sikhote-Alin, so more of it will have burned up.

There will probably be connections made to asteroid DA14, making its very close pass by the Earth now. However, it is completely certain that the two events are unrelated.

With all the witnesses and video, it will be easy to reconstruct the orbit of this object, and I expect to see the first estimates very quickly. I expect there will be a number of papers at the Meteoroids 2013 conference this summer!
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby neufer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:11 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
There will probably be connections made to asteroid DA14, making its very close pass by the Earth now. However, it is completely certain that the two events are unrelated. With all the witnesses and video, it will be easy to reconstruct the orbit of this object, and I expect to see the first estimates very quickly. I expect there will be a number of papers at the Meteoroids 2013 conference this summer!

Besides the 12+ hour time difference this seems to be coming in from the east (i.e., sunrise) whereas DA14 will be coming from the south.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby geckzilla » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:13 pm

How exciting! It must be especially so for you, right, Chris? It's unfortunate that I'm sure a lot of people will be tricked by fake meteor pieces but hopefully some real ones turn up and end up in the hands of experts.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:14 pm

neufer wrote:
Chris Peterson wrote:There will probably be connections made to asteroid DA14, making its very close pass by the Earth now. However, it is completely certain that the two events are unrelated. With all the witnesses and video, it will be easy to reconstruct the orbit of this object, and I expect to see the first estimates very quickly. I expect there will be a number of papers at the Meteoroids 2013 conference this summer!

Besides the 12+ hour time difference this seems to be coming in from the east (i.e., sunrise) whereas DA14 will be coming from the south.

Exactly. The different geocentric radiants is why it is certain the two events are unconnected.

But science has never gotten in the way of science reporting in the popular press!
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby neufer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:57 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.


Chris Peterson wrote:
<<This fell in Russia, a country with a culture that is deeply engrossed by pseudoscience and has one of the most credulous populations of any developed nation. Big fireballs falling in such places tend to result in some rather extreme reports, so everything here needs to be viewed with a healthy degree of skepticism. I expect the number of actual injuries is smaller, and mainly caused by glass that shattered when the shock wave hit. If past events are any indication, there will also be many reports that simply reflect hysteria.>>
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Beyond » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:02 pm

Well, that's quite a shock :shock: wave :!: It sure must have :ohno: the heck out of those who were closest :!:
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Beyond wrote:Well, that's quite a shock :shock: wave :!: It sure must have :ohno: the heck out of those who were closest :!:

The ubiquity of cameras sure makes it easier to analyze these things than used to be the case.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby neufer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:13 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk wrote:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.

<<Chelyabinsk (Челябинск, Population: 1,130,132) is a city and the administrative center of Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of the oblast, 210 kilometers south of Yekaterinburg, just to the east of the Ural Mountains, on the Miass River, on the border of Europe and Asia.

The fortress of Chelyaba, from which the city takes its name, was constructed on the site in 1736; town status was granted to it in 1781. Around 1900, it served as a center for the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway. According to official statistics the population on January 1, 1913 was 45,000 inhabitants.

For several months during the Russian Civil War, Chelyabinsk was held by the White movement and Czechoslovak Legions, becoming a center for splinters of the Romanian Volunteer Corps in Russia. The city later fell to Bolshevik Russian forces.

In the decades after the Finnish Civil War in 1918, some 15,000 "Red" Finns defected into the Soviet Union. About 2000 of them were transferred to Chelyabinsk via railway. In 1938, during the Great Purge, around 1000 of them were executed, largest single action being shooting of 252 Finns in March 10 and 13 in Chelyabinsk. Their mass grave is located near the Zolonyi Gora's former gold mine, and today bears a small memorial.

During the Soviet industrialization of the 1930s, Chelyabinsk experienced rapid growth. Several industrial establishments, including the Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant and the Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant, were built at this time. During World War II, Joseph Stalin decided to move a large part of Soviet factory production to places out of the way of the advancing German armies in late 1941. This brought new industries and thousands of workers to Chelyabinsk—still essentially a small city. Several enormous facilities for the production of T-34 tanks and Katyusha rocket launchers existed in Chelyabinsk, which became known as "Tankograd" (Tank City). Chelyabinsk was essentially built from scratch during this time. A small town existed before this, signs of which can be found in the centre of the city. The S.M. Kirov Factory no. 185 moved here from Leningrad to produce heavy tanks — it was transferred to Omsk after 1962.

Chelyabinsk has had a long association (since the 1940s) with top-secret nuclear research, though this is more properly applicable to Chelyabinsk Oblast as a whole, as nuclear facilities such as Chelyabinsk-70 (Snezhinsk) are, or were, located far outside the city. A serious nuclear accident occurred in 1957 at the Mayak nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, 150 km north-west of the city, which caused deaths in Chelyabinsk Oblast but not in the city. The province was closed to all foreigners until 1992 other than a British medical team following a two train rail explosion in the mid 1980s.>>
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby bystander » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:47 pm

Huge Meteor Blazes Across Sky Over Russia; Sonic Boom Shatters Windows
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Meteor fall causes damage in Russia
Planetary Society | Emily Lakdawalla | 2013 Feb 15

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Discovery News | Tariq Malik | 2013 Feb 15

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Universe Today | Nancy Atkinson | 2013 Feb 15

Meteor Fragments Blaze Over the Ural Mountains
NASA Earth Observatory | Adam Voiland | 2013 Feb 15

How the Falling Meteor Packed a Sonic Punch
Discovery News | Irene Klotz | 2013 Feb 15
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Psnarf » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:55 pm

WOW! One video at http://say26.com/meteorite-in-russia-al ... -one-place captures the moment when the shockwave hit the ground. Second-story windows shattered (car alarms, of course). I didn't count the number of after-booms, which signify how many times faster than the speed of sound the meteor came in. [I've heard at least two of those in Newport Beach whenever a Space Shuttle landed at Edwards AFB.] What a blast!

I recently viewed an early sci-fi flick that started the same way. A couple attempting to kiss at some place where younglings drive to engage in such activities witness a similar event ending with a flash and boom. It was a flying saucer crashing full of space monkeys with evil intentions. Remarkable how the movie of an incoming space-monkey-mobile resembles the closer images of that meteor. But I digress. Back to watching the incoming asteroid on NASA TV I go, hi-ho.
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My hometown of Malmö was two minutes from being hit?

Postby Ann » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:28 pm

Turning Torso and the Öresund Bridge, still undamaged and upright.
Source: http://planeringsbloggen.wordpress.com/ ... -historia/
According to Swedish newspapers, Chelyabinsk, which was hit by the meteor, is on the same latitude as my hometown of Malmö. If the meteor had entered the Earth's atmosphere two minutes earlier than it did, we would have been on the receiving end of the upheaval brought by this unexpected visitor from space.

Oh, but the meteor didn't enter the Earth's atmosphere any sooner than it actually did, and here in Malmö we certainly saw nothing of light show and shock wave that they got over at Chelyabinsk.

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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Lordcat Darkstar » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:37 pm

So I'm wondering; since there have been two of these events at about the same time in the same area, as far as I've heard, are they related to the same parent body or are they different events? Are there any minor meteor showers that have the same trajectory going on right now? Should I start planning all of my Valentine celebrations in Russia? Right now I'm stuck at work so I can't look any of this up but if anyone knows I'd love to know. :D
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby owlice » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:46 pm

Wow, Psnarf, that's some link.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:56 pm

Esko Lyytinen has made a first cut calculation of the orbital elements using some of the videos, as well as the weather satellite image that was captured.

He estimates the semimajor axis at 1.66 AU, the eccentricity at 0.52, and the inclination at 4.05°. The inclination, combined with an aphelion of 2.52 AU, is consistent with an asteroid belt object.
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Re: Large meteor, possible meteorite near Chelyabinsk, Russi

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:59 pm

Lordcat Darkstar wrote:So I'm wondering; since there have been two of these events at about the same time in the same area, as far as I've heard, are they related to the same parent body or are they different events? Are there any minor meteor showers that have the same trajectory going on right now? Should I start planning all of my Valentine celebrations in Russia? Right now I'm stuck at work so I can't look any of this up but if anyone knows I'd love to know. :D

Large fireballs like this are never associated with showers.

Preliminary analysis indicates that this was a body orbiting on the ecliptic with an aphelion in the asteroid belt and a perihelion somewhere inside Earth's orbit. The orbital elements are somewhat similar to those of Sikhote-Alin, so it remains a possibility that a common parent body was involved. If iron meteorites are found, I'm sure this possibility will be closely examined.
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