UK & World News
Meteor: Team Of 20,000 Sent To Ural Mountains
A 20,000-strong rescue team has reportedly been sent by the Russian authorities to the Ural Mountains after a meteor struck.
Some 1,100 people were injured after the meteor blazed across the western Siberian sky with a blinding flash and booming shockwave.
The Russian Academy of Sciences said it entered the Earth's atmosphere at 33,000mph (54,000kph) - 15 times the speed of a rifle bullet - and shattered into pieces around 18-32 miles (30-50km) high in the sky.
It reportedly exploded with the force of 20 atomic bombs.
Nasa estimated its speed was even faster at 40,000mph, and said it exploded at about 12-15 miles high and left a trail 300 miles long.
The meteor weighed an estimated 7,000 tons and was about the size of a bus, Nasa said.
Fragments of at least one meteorite were seen falling from the sky in the Chelyabinsk region at around 9am local time on Friday, around 930 miles (1,500km) east of Moscow.
The fall of such a large meteor estimated as weighing dozens of tonnes and the size of a double-decker bus, was extremely rare, while the number of casualties as a consequence of its burning up around a heavily-inhabited area was unprecedented.
"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening," said Sergey Hametov, of Chelyabinsk.
Many were hurt by flying glass as windows were blown in. Witnesses described feeling a pressure wave and hearing explosions overhead as the object hurtled to Earth.
Lessons had just started at Chelyabinsk schools when the meteor exploded, and officials said 258 children were among those injured. Amateur video showed a teacher speaking to her class as a powerful shock wave hit the room.
Schools were closed for the day and theatre shows cancelled across the region after the shock wave blew out windows amid temperatures as low as minus 18 degrees Celsius (zero degrees Fahrenheit).
There was no immediate word on deaths or anyone struck by rock fragments.
Meteors typically cause sonic booms when they enter the atmosphere because they are travelling much faster than the speed of sound.
The defence ministry said it had identified a six-metre crater at a lake in the region and has sent soldiers to the site of the apparent impact of one fragment.
Thousands of rescue workers were dispatched to help the injured and locate those needing help.
Many drivers in Russia have video recorders fitted in their cars in case of accidents or disputes with traffic police. Footage from these uploaded to YouTube show the fireball crashing to the ground.
The meteor explosion appears to be one of the most stunning cosmic events above Russia since the 1908 Tunguska Event, when a massive blast most scientists blame on an asteroid or a comet impact ripped through Siberia.
"I am scratching my head to think of anything in recorded history when that number of people have been indirectly injured by an object like this... it's very, very rare to have human casualties," Robert Massey, deputy executive secretary of Britain's Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), said.
There were reports of traffic in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk grinding to a halt and people seeking shelter in buildings as the fireballs lit up the sky.
Schools were closed for the day across the region and mobile phone networks were temporarily cut.
The meteor hit hours before the asteroid 2012 DA14 made the closest recorded pass of an asteroid to the Earth, although scientists said the two events were not linked.
Resident Anna Pinkus told Sky News she saw a bright light outside her window and then heard three explosions.
"It was a very loud sound," she said. "After that our windows began to shatter and shiver so it was very terrifying. First we thought it was a plane crash."
Planetary scientist Professor Ian Crawford of Birkbeck University said this was an unusual case as meteorite hits rarely cause any damage.
"Several times a year meteorites are observed to fall on the earth's surface but damage to people or property is very unusual," he said. "There are only several recorded cases of buildings being hit by meteorites."
Describing the course of the meteorite he said: "I think it's very likely that it would have been a larger lump of rock that broke up in the Earth's atmosphere - this is usually what happens.
"The rock comes in from space and hits the Earth's atmosphere. That decelerates it and puts a lot of stress on it. Then it's likely to fragment into lots of pieces."
The office of the local governor said that a meteorite had fallen into a lake outside the town of Chebarkul in the Chelyabinsk region and television images pointed to a six-metre (20-foot) hole in the frozen lake's ice.
However it has yet to be finally confirmed if meteorite fragments made contact with the Earth and there were no reports that any locals had been hurt directly by a falling piece of meteorite.
Chelyabinsk is Russia's industrial heartland, home to many factories and other huge facilities that include a nuclear power plant and the Mayak atomic waste storage and treatment centre.
A spokesman for Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy state corporation, said that its operations remained unaffected.
what do you think?
Quiet spectacular.this must be the firt time such a thing has been caught on camara.
Or even on a camera
How comes theres always some twit that thinks his superia to everyone else and wants to pick up on a simple thing like spelling rather than the comment.a freind of mine was commenting on here before and stoped doing so because some clever clogs kept pointing out her spelling and she was dyslexic .now she hardly likes to make a comment.idiots who know how to spell but dont know how to think.
Your talking about me arent you. Yes im dyslexic and yes it did put me off for quite a while.though im getting used to keyboard on phone now but i still fimd it difficult to read whst ive written .yes there were always the same people critizising my spelling and it did put me off especially commenting.one person was actually very rude cos i spelt ambelance wrong .these people are very shortsighted and tend to not be able to see past their own noses.the type that would laugh at how someone spoke and not realise the person might be deaf.yes idiots who just want to spoil things for others commenting here.proberly the same people who put thumbs down for no real reason .
shaun has this kinda thing happened before cause you always hear one could hit us, but kinda never believe
It has hasnt it.in 1908 a whole forest was flattened and look like matchsticks spread across the land away from the site of a very large explosion.again in russia.i think it was called the tungusta event or tunguska event.cant remember which .
It was called the tunguska event in russia in 1908.just looked it up.
Stunning and amazing unless your the unlucky one!!!
Quite funny as we have the astoroid approaching earth as well
Its the north koreans
Should we be worried about the big one that passes tonight. if the clever people have got it wrong and it comes closer than they think, where would it hit
It all depends on what the big one is made of or how it left the asteroid belt in the solar system. If its mostly rock held together by water ice then as it approches earth the sun could of heated and melted some of the ice,Or if it was flung out due to a collision. Which could create fragments that could,depending on which side of the planet it passes by hit us. But it would have to pass in front of us for this to happen. Or if its trajectory or speed was altered drastically.
Think its time to call in Bruce Willis & his team!
It's coming from the bottom so will be in the southern hem. somewhere.
Small bits in front of the big bit that's still on it's way, I'm on me bike!!!
when i said " perhaps we should take a direct hit from one so that people might take this seriously" and "not in a populated area but so it could be witnessed" last week on orange world every one gave me the thumbs down. Ok so i didnt really have this sort of thing in mind
nice to see Russia has a contingency plan in this situation, as when Chernobyl blew up in 1986 the government at the time didn't have. It took over 2 days to acknowledge there had been a nuclear accident by which time thousands of people had been exposed to high levels of radioactivity.
This happens quite often.or so I thought. Just mostly seems to happen in really remote places. The "big one" is not a threat. And even if it did hit it won't blow up the earth. It would,however,easily wipe out a city. :/
Couple of good optiond there Nat
Kind of puts things into perspective. Humans, the most arrogant species on this planet have ravaged our planet, have shown immense and terrible cruelty to each other and to other species. Yet whether a King, Queen, or tramp on the street, a celebrity or a road sweeper, we could be wiped out someday by a piece of rock. Squished like a load of ants. Makes you think doesn't it?
I do hope the people in Russia recover. Must have been awful x
there russian who cares
they are human beings Andy
Don't you just love science when things like this happen just amazing
I love science me
Was there any farms near owned by the KENT family ? this was how superman started
And how the autobots landed in the non canon micheal bay transformers film
It could be us tonight, so let's all get a party going, leave work early and have some fun!!!!!
What a good idea.your place ii is then.lol
Yes put an extra bottle in the fridge me thinks
It doesn't look like a meteorite. It looks like a crashed jet. If you ask me, it's just another rock story. What it will be tomorrow? Dogs, cats, silver stories? It looks fake. Are there really 900 injured Russians from a meteorite? Ten tonnes is a lot like the weight of most space junk. Now I think of it, it's probably the weight of a North Korean piece of space rocket, except, they're communists so they wouldn't bomb Russia. Oh? Russia isn't exactly communist and North Korea has no friends? I don't believe it's a meteorite, whatever it is. Neither do I believe another big meteorite is about to hit Earth. The videos don't seem to show much of a meteorite, just a trail in the sky, like a jet. In the videos, there seem to be a lot of people ignoring whatever was travelling across the sky, totally ignoring it lighting up the ground and just continuing to walk along the roads. If it was real, they'd stop to look, not just ignore it.
I know you do.t like the telly but you really ought to watch the news on it adrian.
For once, I will watch television news. I might watch it at 7:30pm when everyone gets hit by a space rock. I'll try not to let that stop me eating my horse burgers. I also think a six metre crater doesn't seem very big for a meteorite and it suddenly seems very strange it landed near a Russian "nuclear" area so soon after North Korea was condemned by just about every country on Earth for testing a nuclear bomb, if it even was one.
Ron Reagan said to Nancy, which button do I press for coffee Nancy, is it the green one or the red one? Nancy said for Gods sake Ron, don't press the red one! If Gorbachev was still here he would be asking the same question of his missus.
Wait until the UK claims solicitors fly out. The number of injured will go through the roof
looking forward to seeing comet ison in late November it might b as bright as the full moon
I like how these experts know its not connected to the little piece of Rock coming close!! How do you become an expert on unpredictable things? Or things that come round every hundred years. Not pulling the experts to bits but intrigued as to how you study something that you've never been on