APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

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APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:06 am

Image The Great Russian Meteor of 2013

Explanation: What in heaven's blazes is that? Thousands of people living near the Ural Mountains in Russia saw last Friday morning one of the more spectacular meteors of modern times streak across the sky. Forceful sound waves arrived at the ground minutes later, knocking people over and breaking windows for hundreds of kilometers. The above video is a compilation of several car dashcams and includes real time footage of the meteor rampaging, smoke trails drifting, shadows quickly shifting, and even the meteor's light reflecting off the back of a bus. The fireball is thought to have been caused by a car-sized chunk of ice and rock crashing into the Earth's atmosphere. Since the event was captured from so many angles, the meteor's trajectory has become determined well enough to indicate from where it came and to where any resultant pieces might have landed. It is already certain that this meteor had nothing to do with the several-times larger asteroid 2012 DA14 which passed the Earth from a different direction later the same day. If pieces of the meteor are found, they might tell humanity more about the early Solar System, when the meteor was likely formed.

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by bystander » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:16 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:55 am

More like bus-sized than car-sized, and probably all rock, no ice.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Ann » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:47 am

Great video (vimeo?)! I assume that this is not the last we see of the Great Russian Meteor of 2013 here at APOD.

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Brem2 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:42 am

Does anybody have an explanation for the shape of the smoke trail? Clearly two separate trails, but mirror images of each other.

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:07 am

"I'm a meteor man....made allot of stops....all over the world...."

I wonder if the TV show "Meteor Men" will go there and see if they can get something from any debris field.

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Boomer12k » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:09 am

It is bright, but it is not an explosion. You can see it continues on after its brightest part. It is like a light filament, as it dims, the meteor continues. Did not explode.

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:04 am

Boomer12k wrote:It is bright, but it is not an explosion. You can see it continues on after its brightest part. It is like a light filament, as it dims, the meteor continues. Did not explode.

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This is a comment from the blog post ("the meteor's trajectory") linked from today's Apod
http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/Watch%20t ... 85055.html
13 On Feb 17, 2013 05:18:41 AM  PKthinks  added a comment on your blog post. 
Is it possible the Russian meteoroid did not actually impact the surface?
Given the angle of approach and the aiburst could the main portion have left without ground impact?
The videos seem to show a fairly significant object continuing onwards after the main explosion
.....???....
Margarita
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&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by SouthEastAsia » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:57 am

To Boomer12k,

I might be mistaken w/ the context of your comment, so forgive me if I was, but The Great 2013 Ural Meteor did in fact experience an explosion and break up into mutliple fragments whereupon hitting mother Spaceship Earth, in the Urals - hence becoming fragmented meteorite impacts.

There is plenty of documentation you will find when searching, of such atmoshperic explosion and actual dispersed findings on ground to date. More to be found too :)

With respect to this comment... " If pieces of the meteor [also known as meteorite when hitting Earth surface] are found, they might tell humanity more about the early Solar System, when the meteor was likely formed."

Let's place further hope that it can also somehow tell humanity to chill out a little and tone it down a collective notch... in the ideological battle sphere... and allow some of the more 'great ones' among us on Earth to better reflect on the actual greater inter-galactic sphere of existence and the space within our Solar system and beyond we share!

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by neufer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:26 pm

Image
Brem2 wrote:
Does anybody have an explanation for the shape of the smoke trail?
Clearly two separate trails, but mirror images of each other.
1) It fragmented first into two (more or less) equal pieces.
2) It somehow generated trailing votices.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:48 pm

That meteor was a WOWexperience! 8-) :D
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[A]steroid [T]errestrial-impact [L]ast [A]lert [S]ystem

Post by neufer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:48 pm

http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/5013/20130217/nasa-funds-5m-meteor-tracking-system-atlas.htm wrote:
  • Science World Reports, 2/17/2013
<<After the a huge meteor recently hit the ground of Chelyabinsk (population 1,130,132), Russia, NASA has approved $5 million of funding for ATLAS project (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System).

Almost 1,100 people was hurt as aftershock damages buildings and disconnected mobile networks which spread the panic across the nation. The most recent such impact occurred about 103 years ago, the Tunguska impact, in Siberia. This new system will allow a one-week warning for a 50-yard diameter asteroid or “city killer” and three weeks for a 150 yard-diameter “county killer.”

The system is being developed by Dr. John Tonry at the University of Hawaii Institute of Astronomy. “That’s enough time to evacuate the area of people, take measures to protect buildings and other infrastructure, and be alert to a tsunami danger generated by ocean impacts,” Tonry said. "It's gonna involve small telescopes about the size of a good garbage can, but very wide fields of view and the intent is to basically scan the whole sky a couple times a night and that makes it possible for things to sneak through," Tonry added.

The team is on its way to set up and operate an asteroid detection system that will monitor the visible sky twice a night looking for faint objects moving through space. ATLAS can operate up to 8 small telescopes, each equipped with cameras of up to 100 megapixels, on mounts housed at one or two locations in the Hawaiian Islands. The system is to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

If the meteorite that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia, recently reached on Earth at a different time of day, it could have landed on Moscow, Belfast, Dublin or any number of other cities with a latitude close to that of Chelyabinsk. Had the much bigger asteroid 2012 DA14 that coincidentally passed by Earth on the same day been the one that hit Chelyabinsk, the whole city would have been completely wiped out. The Chelyabinsk meteor was flying at approximately 33,000 miles per hour (53,000 kilometers per hour) and exploded with the power of an atomic bomb - though it was at least 29 kilometers off the ground.

Funding from NASA’s Near Earth Observation Program will provide $5 million over five years with $3.5 million designated for design and construction in the first three years and the remainder for operating the system in the following two years.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huginn_and_Muninn wrote: <<In Norse mythology, Huginn (from Old Norse "thought") and Muninn (Old Norse "memory" or "mind") are a pair of ravens that fly all over the world, Midgard, and bring information to the god Odin.

In the Poetic Edda, a disguised Odin expresses that he fears that they may not return from their daily flights. The Prose Edda explains that Odin is referred to as "raven-god" due to his association with Huginn and Muninn. In the Prose Edda and the Third Grammatical Treatise, the two ravens are described as perching on Odin's shoulders. Heimskringla details that Odin gave Huginn and Muninn the ability to speak.
  • Hugin and Munin fly each day
    over the spacious earth.
    I fear for Hugin, that he come not back,
    yet more anxious am I for Munin.
In the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning (chapter 38), the enthroned figure of High tells Gangleri (king Gylfi in disguise) that two ravens named Huginn and Muninn sit on Odin's shoulders. The ravens tell Odin everything they see and hear. Odin sends Huginn and Muninn out at dawn, and the birds fly all over the world before returning at dinner-time. As a result, Odin is kept informed of many events. High adds that it is from this association that Odin is referred to as "raven-god". In the Heimskringla book Ynglinga saga, an Euhemerized account of the life of Odin is provided. Chapter 7 describes that Odin had two ravens, and upon these ravens he bestowed the gift of speech. These ravens flew all over the land and brought him information, causing Odin to become "very wise in his lore." In the Third Grammatical Treatise an anonymous verse is recorded that mentions the ravens flying from Odin's shoulders; Huginn seeking hanged men, and Muninn slain bodies. The verse reads:
  • Two ravens flew from Hnikar’s [Óðinn’s]
    shoulders; Huginn to the hanged and
    Muninn to the slain [lit. corpses].
Last edited by neufer on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:24 pm

Science World Reports 2/17/2013 After <the meteor over Chelyabinsk > NASA has approved $5 million of funding for ATLAS project
http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/press-releases/ATLAS/
Press release, University of Hawaii, February 15th, 2013 In the realm of potential planetary disasters, asteroids are among the ones to fear—like the meteorite that hit Russia today, they can inflict serious damage on Earth.
With the aid of a $5-million grant from NASA, a University of Hawaii team of astronomers is developing ATLAS, a system to identify dangerous asteroids before their final plunge to Earth.
The team is on track to build and operate an asteroid detection system that will patrol the visible sky twice a night looking for faint objects moving through space.
ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System) will operate up to 8 small telescopes, each fitted with cameras of up to 100 megapixels, on mounts housed at one or two locations in the Hawaiian Islands.
Astronomers expect the system to be fully operational by the end of 2015.
Astronomer John Tonry compared ATLAS’s sensitivity to detecting a match flame in New York City when viewed from San Francisco.  
The team predicts the system will offer a one-week warning for a 50-yard diameter asteroid or “city killer” and three weeks for a 150 yard-diameter “county killer.”
“That’s enough time to evacuate the area of people, take measures to protect buildings and other infrastructure, and be alert to a tsunami danger generated by ocean impacts,” Tonry said.
The typical asteroid is a “rubble pile”—a large collection of rocks and dust.
Most asteroids reside in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, though some, called near-Earth objects, can orbit much closer to Earth.
Sometimes the gravitational tugs from the planets in the solar system send one of the asteroids on a collision course with Earth.
Had the meteorite that hit Chelyabinsk, Russia today arrived at Earth at a different time of day, it could have hit Moscow, Belfast, Dublin or any number of other cities with a latitude similar to that of Chelyabinsk.
Had the much larger asteroid 2012 DA14 that coincidentally passed by Earth on the same day been the one that hit Chelyabinsk, the entire city would have been completely destroyed.
Scientists estimate that such a “city killer” impacts Earth about once every few hundred years.
The most recent such impact occurred about 103 years ago—the Tunguska impact—in Siberia.
ATLAS will complement the Institute for Astronomy’s Pan-STARRS project, a system that searches for large “killer asteroids” years, decades, and even centuries before impact with Earth. Whereas Pan-STARRS takes a month to complete one sweep of the sky in a deep but narrow survey, ATLAS will search the sky in a closer and wider path to help identify the smaller asteroids that hit Earth much more frequently.
Funding from NASA’s Near Earth Observation Program will provide $5 million over five years with $3.5 million designated for design and construction in the first three years and the remainder for operating the system in the following two years.
As well as searching for asteroids, ATLAS will also look for dwarf planets, supernova explosions, and flashes of light that occur when a star is gobbled up by a supermassive black hole in a distant galaxy.
"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."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by K1NS » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:00 pm

Yes, yes, I realize that everyone says the 2013 Russian event has nothing to do with 2012 DA14, but what a coincidence! You might even say the odds against it are astronomical. 8-)

Is it possible that the two events are related after all? On a previous pass of Earth, couldn't tidal forces broken off a chunk of DA14 which then struck Earth on this month's later pass? I am just searching for an explanation of two events of such enormous rarity happening on the same day. (Not to mention a smaller event that same day in California. Are the gods angry? Was it something our chief said?)

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Alastro » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:02 pm

How small can an asteroid be before it's called a meteoroid?

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by neufer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:06 pm

K1NS wrote:
Yes, yes, I realize that everyone says the 2013 Russian event has nothing to do with 2012 DA14, but what a coincidence! You might even say the odds against it are astronomical. 8-) Is it possible that the two events are related after all? On a previous pass of Earth, couldn't tidal forces broken off a chunk of DA14 which then struck Earth on this month's later pass? I am just searching for an explanation of two events of such enormous rarity happening on the same day.
Possibly the two separate asteroids conspired like a pair of velociraptors:

DA14 distracted everyone's attention while
the Chelyabinsk meteor snuck in with the sun at its back so that it wouldn't be detected.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by neufer » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:12 pm

Alastro wrote:
How small can an asteroid be before it's called a meteoroid?
  • A meter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid#Meteoroids wrote:
<<In 1961, the International Astronomical Union defined a meteoroid as "a solid object moving in interplanetary space, of a size considerably smaller than an asteroid and considerably larger than an atom". In 1995, Beech and Steel, writing in Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, proposed a new definition where a meteoroid would be between 100 µm and 10 meters across. Following the discovery of asteroids below 10 m in size, Rubin and Grossman refined the Beech and Steel definition of meteoroid to objects between 10 µm and 1 m in diameter. The smallest asteroid (based on absolute magnitude) is 2008 TS26 with an absolute magnitude of 33.2, and an estimated size of 1-meter. Objects smaller than meteoroids are classified as micrometeoroids and cosmic dust. The Minor Planet Center does not use the term "meteoroid".>>
Last edited by neufer on Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by APODFORIST » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:12 pm

On video #3 in this collection the approaching meteor[it] look SOOO SCARY! :shock:

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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:40 pm

Brem2 wrote:Does anybody have an explanation for the shape of the smoke trail? Clearly two separate trails, but mirror images of each other.
Other significant fireballs have produced separated trains or complex smoke trails due to the parent breaking into two or more pieces while still in hypersonic flight. That is the most likely explanation for the shape of the smoke trail in this event.

It is also possible for meteoroids to orient in flight, resulting in ablation reducing them to various aerodynamic shapes and producing trails as in the diagram provided above by Art, but that's probably much less likely.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:45 pm

Boomer12k wrote:It is bright, but it is not an explosion. You can see it continues on after its brightest part. It is like a light filament, as it dims, the meteor continues. Did not explode.
Meteors experience disruption events, which are explosions occurring when the parent (or a component of the parent) breaks apart, rapidly exposing new surface area to ablation (which releases a lot of energy as heat, light, and sound). These explosions are usually called "terminal explosions" when they occur near the end of the luminous flight. This particular meteor experienced a massive disruption while still at a high enough speed that fragments remained hypersonic (and therefore luminous) for many tens of kilometers. But nearly all the mass was probably lost in that central explosion, which lasted only a couple of seconds.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by geckzilla » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:48 pm

neufer wrote:Possibly the two separate asteroids conspired like a pair of velociraptors:

DA14 distracted everyone's attention while
the Chelyabinsk meteor snuck in with the sun at its back so that it wouldn't be detected.
Clever girl.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:52 pm

K1NS wrote:Yes, yes, I realize that everyone says the 2013 Russian event has nothing to do with 2012 DA14, but what a coincidence! You might even say the odds against it are astronomical. 8-)
Actually, while unusual, the odds aren't all that long. Bodies the size of the one over Russia enter the atmosphere every few years (although it is more rare for them to descend as deep as this one did), and bodies the size of DA14 pass the Earth within a lunar distance every few years, as well. DA14 was particularly close, and the Russian meteor particularly low, but otherwise these events are not so rare.
Is it possible that the two events are related after all? On a previous pass of Earth, couldn't tidal forces broken off a chunk of DA14 which then struck Earth on this month's later pass? I am just searching for an explanation of two events of such enormous rarity happening on the same day.
The bodies are unrelated to each other. It is certainly possible that a chunk of DA14 could have been separated by tidal forces on a previous encounter. That is something which is known to happen, and has been observed with other bodies. But when that happens, all the fragments have substantially the same orbit. We know that DA14 and the Russian meteor had very, very different orbits. Had they originated from the same body, it would have taken many orbits and multiple gravitational interactions to shift their respective paths so widely, in which case they would no longer be traveling together, and the odds of them just happening to arrive at nearly the same time would be much more astronomical than the simple coincidence of a couple of fairly common sizes of bodies arriving on the same day.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:57 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:This is a comment from the blog post ("the meteor's trajectory") linked from today's Apod
http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/Watch%20t ... 85055.html
13 On Feb 17, 2013 05:18:41 AM  PKthinks  added a comment on your blog post. 
Is it possible the Russian meteoroid did not actually impact the surface?
Given the angle of approach and the aiburst could the main portion have left without ground impact?
The videos seem to show a fairly significant object continuing onwards after the main explosion
It is almost certain that the meteoroid did not strike the surface, meaning anything still carrying cosmic velocity. It is already established that meteorites were produced, although perhaps not many. At the height and speed this body exploded, most of the material probably burned up. It is very possible that less than 1% of the original mass survived, and with the current conditions in Siberia, what did is probably mostly under snow.

Based on the brightness of the component that continued after the primary breakup, it could easily have been under a meter in diameter and burned up completely without producing meteorites.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:59 pm

Alastro wrote:How small can an asteroid be before it's called a meteoroid?
There's no rigorous answer. Most people place the boundary somewhere between 1 and 10 meters. In part, it depends on context: a 5 meter body observed in space might well be called an asteroid, while a 10 meter body in the atmosphere might be called a meteoroid.

One man's mountain is another man's hill.
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Re: APOD: The Great Russian Meteor of 2013 (2013 Feb 18)

Post by Psnarf » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:06 pm

A
car-sized chunk of ice and rock
pretty-much describes a comet. Incoming at 140,000 mph, 7 meters in diameter, approximately 10,000 metric tons (http://spaceweather.com/), sew! howcome nobody saw it coming? I guess the Air Force Space Surveillance Radar http://spaceweatherradio.com/navspasur.php is primarily interested in forecasting windows of opportunity for rocket launches; all of the non-reserved telescope time on the dark side was watching 2012 DA14 or scanning for Potentially Hazardous Asteroids?

http://topaz.streamguys.tv/~spaceweather/