Saturday, February 16, 2013

Russian Meteorite

16 second automobile dash video
One of the best dash cam view, first in real time and then in slow motion
What I find amazing about this last video; the pedestrians calmly walking across the street after the fireball goes by. Of course, if I was walking outside in 12 degrees weather on icy roads I'd be focused on the nearest warm dwelling.  Here in Seattle in 2004 I was awake in the middle of the night when our bedroom lit up like it was bright daylight, outside on the deck I heard 7 or 8 huge sonic booms.  Witnessing that fireball wasn't the type of excitement most people prefer in their bedrooms.  The bolide in Russia probably well over a ton in mass produced not only sonic booms but a shock wave that blew out windows and collapsed a roof at a zinc processing plant.  Most likely many meteorite fragments will be recovered, and it will be interesting to see where this meteorite came from and its composition.
NASA has updated the size of the meteorite to 55 feet wide and also has upgraded the blast size to 500 kilotons of TNT.  The improved data comes from five infrasound stations located around the world.   The meteor was also substantially more massive than initial estimates.  First estimates were around 7,000 tons but now scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California say the meteor weighed about 10,000 tons and was traveling 40,000 mph when it exploded. 

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