Look! Up in the sky! It’s an asteroid – oh, wait – it’s a meteorite!! Oh, it’s both!!

Meteorite over Siberia today

Meteorite over Siberia today

No, they’re not related events, although some dispute that assumption. Most scientists think it’s just a huge coincidence that as the world was looking skyward for today’s passing of an asteroid at a mere 17,000 miles from earth, when a meteorite estimated at 40 tons exploded in the skies over Siberia at 9:25am their time, shattering windows for miles and making a crater 20 feet across. In this age of dashboard and surveillance video equipment, there are lots of images of the meteorite streaking across the daylight sky. Nature calls it the largest event of its kind in a century.

Meanwhile, the asteroid known as 2012 DA14, is scheduled to pass the earth shortly, at about 2:25pm EST. You can follow NASA coverage here we’ll post an update with more links on both events later today.

CORRECTION: The above text about the crater has been struck through because initial reports were incorrect – the meteorite exploded 20-30 miles above the earth’s surface and sent pieces of flying through the air, but no crater was created.

UPDATE: At 2:24EST, 2012 DA14 whizzed by harmlessly, and was 17,200 miles away at its closest point, over Indonesia.

Read the latest at the New York TImes, NASANature, and Scientific American.

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Feb 15, 2013 | Posted by in Asteroid, Meteorite | 2 comments

Comments (2 Responses)

  1. Penny says:

    Current estimates suggest the meteorite may bave been two meters across, as opposed to the asteroid, which is 50 meters across, and would therefore have more than 15,000 times the mass. Imagine the damage that could do if it hit the earth.

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