Meteorite hits Russian city, around 1000 people injured

We're on a gaming website and yet this hasn't been posted yet?

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-meteorite-strike-in-russian-city-of-chelyabinsk-injures-hundreds-a-883581.html

The students in School Number 15, in the city of Chelyabinsk some 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, had just finished first period when a blinding light flashed through the windows of the building. Then, at about 9:20 a.m., a violent shockwave from an explosion shattered the glass.

"There was a very loud noise, similar to the roar of an airplane, and then a detonation and the shattering of glass," one of the school pupils told the Russian news website Lifenews.ru. "We've never seen anything like it in our lives. We had the feeling that something very large had landed in the neighboring courtyard." According to initial media reports, some 20 pupils in the school and in a neighboring kindergarten were injured.

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What caused the windows in Chelyabinsk to shatter was documented in numerous videos and photos. A meteor pushed its way through the atmosphere on Friday morning and broke up some 30 to 50 kilometers above the Earth's surface before several piece crashed to the ground*. Across the region, people on their way to work became witnesses to the rare phenomenon. Numerous commuters filmed the meteorite, many of them more by chance than intent: Many Russians have installed video cameras, called dashcams, in their cars in order to help prove their innocence in the case of accidents or to document corrupt traffic cops.

Some of the footage, such as that from the airport in Yekaterinburg, shows the path of the meteorite from a distance along with its characteristic tail. But images from Chelyabinsk itself also show how the meteorite burst into a blinding fire-ball. The Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement that it released the energy of several kilotons in the skies above Chelyabinsk.

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Luckily it appears that nobody got killed. Most people were injured by flying shards of glass when the meteor hit and glass panes everywhere burst from the impact. Additionally, none of the nuclear plants in the area were affected.

As soon as the initial shock from the event began to subside, the meteorite continued its journey through social networks such as the Facebook-clone Vkontakte.ru and Twitter. Some spoke of the "end of the world," noting that the chronically tardy Russian postal service only now delivered it instead of on Dec. 21 as planned. Also, an image of a shirtless Vladimir Putin riding the tail of the meteorite began making the rounds.

The gallows humor seems initially not to be as tasteless as it could have been. It looks as though Chelyabinsk barely escaped a much larger disaster.

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The largest issue right now is to fix the windows in pretty much the entire city. With temperatures of quite far below zero, people need to get their houses fixed quick. Around 20.000 responders were brought in to help with the repairs and local factories and corporations were asked to cut the workday short so that workers can get back home and deal with the damages.

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As a sidenote, scientists have stated that this particular meteorite had nothing to do with the large celestial body, asteroid "2012 DA14", passing by the Earth by about 28000 km yesterday evening. It's not a broken-off part or something like that, it was independent of it.

http://tagesschau.de/ausland/asteroid128.html

..What's with the random guy riding the meteorite-trail?

(Or maybe it's a cloud, or smoke, or whatever, but it's..Uh..Random?)

Skeleon:
We're on a gaming website and yet this hasn't been posted yet?

It has been posted. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.401072-Meteor-burned-up-over-Russia-today

And, since the topic doesn't have anything to either Religion or Politics, it was correctly posted in the Off-Topic forum.


Unless you're trying to say that the universe is mad at Russia for imprisoning Pussy Riot...

madwarper:
It has been posted. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.401072-Meteor-burned-up-over-Russia-today

And, since the topic doesn't have anything to either Religion or Politics, it was correctly posted in the Off-Topic forum.


Unless you're trying to say that the universe is mad at Russia for imprisoning Pussy Riot...

Ah, Off-Topic. Eh.
To be honest, since we often talk about science-y things on here (and disasters, too), it seemed to fit quite well.

Realitycrash:
..What's with the random guy riding the meteorite-trail?

(Or maybe it's a cloud, or smoke, or whatever, but it's..Uh..Random?)

As it says in the quoted article, it's a picture of Putin riding the meteorite's tail. It circulated pretty quickly afterwards on social networking sites. It's been in the OP.

Realitycrash:
..What's with the random guy riding the meteorite-trail?
(Or maybe it's a cloud, or smoke, or whatever, but it's..Uh..Random?)

Putin has been embarking on a propaganda campaign surrounding his person. That particular one was where he was horseriding, pretending a cowboy like image. It ended up causing hilarity among people who can ride, because from his pose it was pretty obvious that Putin is not skilled in horse riding at all.

He's having photos taken of him pretending to be badass, so him 'riding' a meteorite is quite funny really.

Didn't some political party of Russia blame this on America?

It'd be pretty fucked up if a war started over a meteor.

madwarper:

Skeleon:
We're on a gaming website and yet this hasn't been posted yet?

It has been posted. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.401072-Meteor-burned-up-over-Russia-today

And, since the topic doesn't have anything to either Religion or Politics, it was correctly posted in the Off-Topic forum.


Unless you're trying to say that the universe is mad at Russia for imprisoning Pussy Riot...

Eh, the rest of the Escapist seem to like to imagine that the R&P is some dungeon where only trolls and masochists live, so I have no problem with us imagining that the rest of the Escapist doesn't exist whenever we want to discuss something interesting here.

Damien Granz:
Didn't some political party of Russia blame this on America?

It'd be pretty fucked up if a war started over a meteor.

I had to google that because I hadn't heard of it before, but sure enough you're right:

Russia's controversial Liberal leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has blamed Americans for today's meteorite scare, local media report.

"Those were not meteorites, it was Americans testing their new weapons," Mr. Zhirinovsky confessed to journalists. "[US Secretary of State] John Kerry wanted to warn [Russia's Foreign Minister] Lavrov on Monday, he was looking for Lavrov, and Lavrov was on a trip. He meant to warn Lavrov about a provocation against Russia," he said.

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_15/Russian-MP-blames-meteor-shower-on-US-secret-arms-test/

It's terribly frightening that my mass driver quib in that thread about Russia's bombers wasn't that far from how some people apparently really perceived this event.

It's the end of the world. Bring snacks.

But seriously, I think it was in the silly movie Armageddon that they said something that sure sounds true: we currently watch about 3% of the sky hoping to avoid an end of life event. Makes you think about how every day above ground is one to be grateful for.

Gorfias:
But seriously, I think it was in the silly movie Armageddon that they said something that sure sounds true: we currently watch about 3% of the sky hoping to avoid an end of life event. Makes you think about how every day above ground is one to be grateful for.

They may have said that, yes. They also said it's easier to train oil rig crews to become astronauts than to train astronauts to operate a drill.

thaluikhain:

Gorfias:
But seriously, I think it was in the silly movie Armageddon that they said something that sure sounds true: we currently watch about 3% of the sky hoping to avoid an end of life event. Makes you think about how every day above ground is one to be grateful for.

They may have said that, yes. They also said it's easier to train oil rig crews to become astronauts than to train astronauts to operate a drill.

That sounds true too. I watched the Right Stuff, and they used to have monkeys do the work our Astronauts do now (minus lab stuff, which isn't about piloting the ship). To my knowledge, no monkey has ever run an oil rig. Let me know if I'm wrong about that. Thanks.

EDIT: Interesting, this article on the matter also mentions "Armegeddon"! It isn't the 3% we should be worried about, but that we're probably not doing a good enough job in general. That sounds true too.

http://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/nasa-is-running-out-of-money-to-monitor-earth-destroying-asteroids-part-1-of-2

Damien Granz:
Didn't some political party of Russia blame this on America?

It'd be pretty fucked up if a war started over a meteor.

indeed, and here's the story: https://www.google.com/url?sa=f&rct=j&url=http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/02/15/Russian-meteor-Politician-Vladimir-Zhirinovsky-blames-meteor-on-US-weapons-tests/8931360943453/&q=&esrc=s&ei=OagfUeicEuKYyAHboYGwDw&usg=AFQjCNEtJGynJB4JuG1d6p6QiqFlq2tYcw

"Nothing will ever fall out there," Zhirinovsky said of outer space. "If [something] falls, it's people doing that. People are the instigators of wars, the provocateurs.

unpolitical thread has become political

who knows, we've tried to use tsunamis as weapons before: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256003/U-S-New-Zealand-secretly-tested-tsunami-bombs-designed-trigger-tidal-waves-destroy-coastal-cities.html
so maybe we've found a way to coral meteors and throw them at people
and we tested it on Russia for kicks

Hammartroll:

Damien Granz:
Didn't some political party of Russia blame this on America?

It'd be pretty fucked up if a war started over a meteor.

indeed, and here's the story: https://www.google.com/url?sa=f&rct=j&url=http://www.upi.com/blog/2013/02/15/Russian-meteor-Politician-Vladimir-Zhirinovsky-blames-meteor-on-US-weapons-tests/8931360943453/&q=&esrc=s&ei=OagfUeicEuKYyAHboYGwDw&usg=AFQjCNEtJGynJB4JuG1d6p6QiqFlq2tYcw

"Nothing will ever fall out there," Zhirinovsky said of outer space. "If [something] falls, it's people doing that. People are the instigators of wars, the provocateurs.

unpolitical thread has become political

who knows, we've tried to use tsunamis as weapons before: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2256003/U-S-New-Zealand-secretly-tested-tsunami-bombs-designed-trigger-tidal-waves-destroy-coastal-cities.html
so maybe we've found a way to coral meteors and throw them at people
and we tested it on Russia for kicks

Probably got a few laughs outta Ukraine.

Damien Granz:
Didn't some political party of Russia blame this on America?

It'd be pretty fucked up if a war started over a meteor.

50 years ago one probably would have.

Sucks for Russia that they don't have one of these, because Russia being the biggest country has the best chance to get hit by of those, besides maybe if it hit water, and cause a tsunamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

Gergar12:
Sucks for Russia that they don't have one of these, because Russia being the biggest country has the best chance to get hit by of those, besides maybe if it hit water, and cause a tsunamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

Imagine how many platforms they'd need to cover all of Russia...

Although it would be interesting to know whether a system like that could destroy meteorites. Honestly, I doubt it. It would probably at best just shatter them into smaller fragments.

Gergar12:
Sucks for Russia that they don't have one of these, because Russia being the biggest country has the best chance to get hit by of those, besides maybe if it hit water, and cause a tsunamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

Interception systems aren't going to work against supersonic solid hunks of metal once they've entered the atmosphere. The air friction itself would slow it down more than an interception missile.

Skeleon:

Gergar12:
Sucks for Russia that they don't have one of these, because Russia being the biggest country has the best chance to get hit by of those, besides maybe if it hit water, and cause a tsunamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

Imagine how many platforms they'd need to cover all of Russia...

Although it would be interesting to know whether a system like that could destroy meteorites. Honestly, I doubt it. It would probably at best just shatter them into smaller fragments.

Just put some in cities so this does not happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima

The Gentleman:

Gergar12:
Sucks for Russia that they don't have one of these, because Russia being the biggest country has the best chance to get hit by of those, besides maybe if it hit water, and cause a tsunamis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Dome

Interception systems aren't going to work against supersonic solid hunks of metal once they've entered the atmosphere. The air friction itself would slow it down more than an interception missile.

Ok what about loading one with one of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-28

Gergar12:
Just put some in cities so this does not happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima

What's up with these random Wiki-links you keep posting?
Hiroshima was not hit by a short-range ground-to-ground rocket. Iron Dome would do nothing to protect a city from that.
You're weird.

Skeleon:

Gergar12:
Just put some in cities so this does not happen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima

What's up with these random Wiki-links you keep posting?
Hiroshima was not hit by a short-range ground-to-ground rocket. Iron Dome would do nothing to protect a city from that.

It had an atomic blast, and who knows how big they may be. Iron Dome could guide in on the heat of that like a heatseeker, if it had a type of missile design for that.

Gergar12:
It had an atomic blast, and who knows how big they may be. Iron Dome could guide in on the heat of that like a heatseeker, if it had a type of missile design for that.

Okay, now you're just messing with me. Home in on the heat of the atomic blast? To accomplish what exactly? I'm done with this nonsense, this is where I bow out. "kthxbai" and all that.

Gergar12:
Ok what about loading one with one of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-28

Again, you're dealing with effectively a solid metal target traveling at supersonic speeds. Even if you could hit that with a heavy bunker-buster and the missile didn't just obliterate on impact, it won't slow it down and it probably won't break up the meteor (again, it's effectively a giant solid metal object).

The Gentleman:

Gergar12:
Ok what about loading one with one of these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-28

Again, you're dealing with effectively a solid metal target traveling at supersonic speeds. Even if you could hit that with a heavy bunker-buster and the missile didn't just obliterate on impact, it won't slow it down and it probably won't break up the meteor (again, it's effectively a giant solid metal object).

As long as we have something that is close to the amount of force it has we could effect it. Hundreds of pieces being very slow is still better than a supersonic large rock, and that could be anywhere from 1-30 or 100 kilos.

Skeleon:

Gergar12:
It had an atomic blast, and who knows how big they may be. Iron Dome could guide in on the heat of that like a heatseeker, if it had a type of missile design for that.

Okay, now you're just messing with me. Home in on the heat of the atomic blast? To accomplish what exactly? I'm done with this nonsense, this is where I bow out. "kthxbai" and all that.

You don't get what I am saying I say we intercept the missile using it's heat like heat signatures using a heat seeker, It can be done, and even the Serbs did it. To slow it down, and lower the kinetic force of it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_F-117A_shoot-down

Gergar12:
You don't get what I am saying I say we intercept the missile using it's heat like heat signatures using a heat seeker, It can be done, and even the Serbs did it. To slow it down, and lower the kinetic force of it.

Hiroshima was a bomb. It got dropped, it didn't have a heat signature.
Man, these are horrible derailings. I said I'd bow out and I will. For real this time.

Gergar12:
As long as we have something that is close to the amount of force it has we could effect it. Hundreds of pieces being very slow is still better than a supersonic large rock, and that could be anywhere from 1-30 or 100 kilos.

I don't think you understand the amount of energy required for that. The amount of energy released on impact from this little bugger alone was 30 times the Hiroshima blast, most of it fortunately absorbed by a frozen lake.

And that was a small one.

You need to figure out a way to counter that kinetic energy while it is in motion through the earth's atmosphere. How exactly do you counter the kinetic energy of an object when the closest thing we have to counter it in terms of energy are nuclear weapons that we can't even control once the weapon is detonated?

Er, Russia has a limited ABM system (or at least did during the Cold War, dunno how much is left). They also have/had a SAM system, which amounts to the same thing (planes are harder to intercept than ICBMs), which wasn't quite realised when strategic limitations treaties were being developed, limiting ABM covering to one area for the USSR and one for the US. As an aside, the USSR defended Moscow, not because it was strategically important, but because they wanted to trick NATO into thinking it was, and quietly had their important systems based elsewhere.

Now, intercepting a meteorite isn't that hard, they follow nice predictable trajectories, don't maneouvure, try to evade or use ECMs. Modern systems could deal with them quite nicely, if they were in place waiting for them. Also, it's not essential to destroy the thing, if you fracture it you get the same amount of mass coming down, but with a greater surface area with more air resistance, it burns up and slows down more before it hits the ground.

OTOH, it affects a greater area. Now, this might be a good thing if it's going to land somewhere you really don't want it to, if you are willing to sacrifice less important areas to minimise damage at ground zero. Or the other way around, letting it destroy a town you don't care about rather than bits of it hitting a nearby city you like.

thaluikhain:
Now, intercepting a meteorite isn't that hard, they follow nice predictable trajectories, don't maneouvure, try to evade or use ECMs. Modern systems could deal with them quite nicely, if they were in place waiting for them. Also, it's not essential to destroy the thing, if you fracture it you get the same amount of mass coming down, but with a greater surface area with more air resistance, it burns up and slows down more before it hits the ground.

But this meteorite travelled at 54.000 kp/h. That means it traverses the reach of missile weaponry in terms of height, in a split second.

Plus it wouldn't do much. The kinetic energy contained in a heavy object going that fast is just vast. A simple explosion (which travels in all directions) doesn't do much to stop that, it would be like a mosquito flying into a car that's travelling at high speed.

Gergar12:

It had an atomic blast, and who knows how big they may be. Iron Dome could guide in on the heat of that like a heatseeker, if it had a type of missile design for that.

I think asteroids that are on a collision course with Earth and that are large enough to do serious damage are going to be picked up decades in advance by telescopes. In which case i believe the plan is to intercept the asteroid with a probe and "nudge" it on a different orbital path. It isn't really worth preparing for anything less- i mean when was the last time in history a meteor exploded over a city?

Blablahb:
But this meteorite travelled at 54.000 kp/h. That means it traverses the reach of missile weaponry in terms of height, in a split second.

True, though when I said "waiting for them" I meant they'd have sufficient advanced warning. Once you are aware of the thing, you can determine where it is going to be at any given point in time, and from that it's not hard to get the missile exploding in the right place at the right time.

Blablahb:
Plus it wouldn't do much. The kinetic energy contained in a heavy object going that fast is just vast. A simple explosion (which travels in all directions) doesn't do much to stop that, it would be like a mosquito flying into a car that's travelling at high speed.

Also true, but like I said, you don't necessarily need to stop it, you can fracture it to increase its surface area, so air resistance has a greater effect by burning it up and slowing it down more.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E-FgxGX9os
See video of meteor strike in Chelyabinsk

Blablahb:

thaluikhain:
Now, intercepting a meteorite isn't that hard, they follow nice predictable trajectories, don't maneouvure, try to evade or use ECMs. Modern systems could deal with them quite nicely, if they were in place waiting for them. Also, it's not essential to destroy the thing, if you fracture it you get the same amount of mass coming down, but with a greater surface area with more air resistance, it burns up and slows down more before it hits the ground.

But this meteorite travelled at 54.000 kp/h. That means it traverses the reach of missile weaponry in terms of height, in a split second.

Plus it wouldn't do much. The kinetic energy contained in a heavy object going that fast is just vast. A simple explosion (which travels in all directions) doesn't do much to stop that, it would be like a mosquito flying into a car that's travelling at high speed.

This reminds me of a certain Simpsons episode, in which a meteorite was heading towards Springfield... the military tried shooting rockets at it but they accidentally fell on the bridges and highways leading out of the city...
(Thank god Ned Flanders had a self-made bunker to share)

 

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