Huffpost Science

Russia Meteor Updates: 10-Ton Space Rock Explodes Over Ural Mountains (LIVE UPDATES)

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A meteor estimated to weigh 10 tons exploded near the Ural mountains in Russia Friday, injuring nearly 1000 people and causing extensive property damage.

Footage of the meteor blazing across the sky and bursting into a ball of light over the mountain range has since been widely shared online.

The meteor has no connection to asteroid DA14, which is expected to pass within 17,200 miles of Earth on Friday, according to NASA scientist Don Yeomans.

Follow the live blog below for updates on the Russian meteor.

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Check back at HuffPost Science for any updates in the coming days.

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@ RT_com : 2,962 buildings including 34 healthcare facilities, 361 schools and kindergartens damaged by #RussianMeteor http://t.co/maGLrFOn

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"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.

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@ KairaProject : Size comparison? Asteroid 2012 #DA14 is approximately five times the size of #RussianMeteor http://t.co/E7TOiUvu Confirming #DA14 size now

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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."

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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.

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According to NASA's Bill Cooke, the Russian meteor exploded 12 to 15 miles above ground in a mid-air blast.

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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.

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@ JoelAchenbach : NASA's explanation for not seeing Russian asteroid in advance is, literally, "The sun was in our eyes." #meteor

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"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.

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According to Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environments Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, the meteor penetrated the atmosphere above Russia at a shallow angle and lasted more than 30 seconds in Earth's atmosphere before breaking apart in a violent explosion.

Originating in the asteroid belt, the Russian meteor was not detected by any Earth-based telescopes and is believed to be an asteroid in nature.

Listen to NASA's discussion of the Russian meteor on UStream.

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@ RT_com : A #RussianMeteor victim who suffered a spinal fracture will be transported to Moscow for treatment http://t.co/maGLrFOn #метеорит

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According to Moscow-based news website Lenta.ru, 1,142 people needed medical attention in the aftermath of the meteor blast. Of the 1,142 injured, 48 were hospitalized -- 13 of which are children. Two people are said to be in serious condition.

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@ NewsBalkan : As a result of the #RussianMeteor shower 93 hospitals and 154 clinics were damaged, ITAR-TASS reports

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Mere hours after the crash, residents of Chelyabinsk have already begun to offer pieces of the meteorite for sale online, the International Business Times reports.

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Experts plan to discuss the meteor crash during a 4 p.m. EST teleconference. As NASA revealed earlier, the Russia meteor is not related to asteroid DA14, which will safely flyby Earth today.

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@ ellenmhr : Understanding terms: meteoroids become meteors after entering Earth's atmosphere. Meteors are meteorites after hitting Earth. #russianmeteor

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@ NewsBalkan : #RussianMeteor:Lake impact site sealed off by police,divers to explore bottom of lake. Water samples havent revealed excessive radioactivity

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Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta compiled photos taken by Russian Instagram users. The astonishing images show some of the damage caused by the meteor crash.

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@ EricHolthaus : Nature mag: #RussiaMeteor was "largest recorded object to strike the Earth in more than a century." http://t.co/py1IJcgM

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@ RT_com : BREAKING UPDATE: 1200 injured in #RussianMeteor blast – Russian Interior Ministry http://t.co/maGLrFOn

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@ RussiaMeteor : Hello, this is @jakefogelnest. As a public service, I have registered this Twitter account to prevent another parody account.

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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 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!

Read more on HuffPost Comedy.

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@ elakdawalla : Wow^2! MT @BadAstronomer: video from weather satellite showing #RussianMeteor trail. You can see shadow on ground! http://t.co/8EGDiKPZ

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Worried about how we can prevent meteor strikes in the future? Watch this TED Talk by Phil Plait on "How To Defend Earth From Asteroids."

After last night's strike in Russia, Phil Plait's comment "The Earth sits in a cosmic shooting gallery," has never sounded so true.

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russia meteor updates

A Meteosat-10 image of the meteoroid trail aligned with the Kazakhstan border in Google Maps, shows the meteor's path.

(Image via Paolo Attivissimo)

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