If you woke up this morning and suddenly found your worst nightmare a reality, you're not alone. The meteor that streaked across the Russian Urals and injured nearly 1,000 has totally replaced our fears of sharks and bears joining forces.
Today's news, combined with a sobering tweet from super scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson on Wednesday...
The actual #StateOfTheUnion: Office-building-sized asteroid buzz-cuts Earth this Friday. NASA has no capacity to deflect them
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 13, 2013
...has pretty much convinced us to shift our priorities and focus 100% on preparing for more meteor strikes. To that end, here's what we're doing to get ready, in handy pie chart form. Take heed!
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02/15/2013 5:33 PM EST
Thanks For Following Along!
Check back at HuffPost Science for any updates in the coming days.
02/15/2013 5:27 PM EST
@ RT_com :
2,962 buildings including 34 healthcare facilities, 361 schools and kindergartens damaged by #RussianMeteor http://t.co/maGLrFOn
02/15/2013 5:06 PM EST
How Often Do Impacts Of This Magnitude Hit Earth?
"The Earth is constantly bombarded by objects from space but mostly by much smaller rocks. Rocks that are this size (5-15 meters) statistically impact the Earth once every 5 - 30 years or so, depending on the size. But the Earth is mostly covered by ocean water so the events would not be noticed as often," MSU professor Edwin Bergin writes.
02/15/2013 5:01 PM EST
Five Times Smaller
@ KairaProject :
Size comparison? Asteroid 2012 #DA14 is approximately five times the size of #RussianMeteor http://t.co/E7TOiUvu Confirming #DA14 size now
02/15/2013 4:57 PM EST
Why Radar Did Not Detect The Meteor
Edwin Bergin, a professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan, explained further why the Russian meteor was not detected by radar in an email to the Huffington Post.
"Objects such as this one," Bergin wrote, "are difficult to detect with our current telescopes, which are geared to find objects of sizes 50-100 meters and larger. In general the larger objects, of km-size, are much easier to detect. Given the km-sized bodies' potential for greater devastation (think the extinction of dinosaurs), we certainly are attempting to detect objects that might impact the Earth. However, the effort is by no means complete. To do it right we need full Earth coverage for our telescopes and right now that is not the case."
02/15/2013 4:43 PM EST
Russian Meteor And Asteroid DA14 Are Definitely Not Linked
Pressed further on why the Russian meteor and asteroid DA14 are not linked, NASA's Paul Chodas explained: "Our estimates are based on things like the direction of approach, which we believe was approximately north to south."
"Another reason, the velocity was much, more greater than the velocity of a remnant like DA14," Chodas said.
02/15/2013 4:40 PM EST
According to NASA's Bill Cooke, the Russian meteor exploded 12 to 15 miles above ground in a mid-air blast.
02/15/2013 4:32 PM EST
Focused On The Large Asteroids
Paul Chodas, a research scientist in the Near Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explains that NASA is focused on the large asteroids, first and foremost.
"Although the smaller ones are easier to divert, they are very difficult to detect," Chodas said.
02/15/2013 4:29 PM EST
Why NASA Didn't See The Meteor
@ JoelAchenbach :
NASA's explanation for not seeing Russian asteroid in advance is, literally, "The sun was in our eyes." #meteor
02/15/2013 4:17 PM EST
"The meteor was about 30 seconds, it was moving approximately 10 miles per second, so it left a trail about 300 miles long," NASA's Bill Cooke said.
Listen to NASA's discussion of the Russian meteor on UStream.