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Russian Meteor Largest In a Century

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the bruce-willis-back-to-standby dept.

Earth 196

gbrumfiel writes "A meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the earth in more than a century, Nature reports. Infrasound data collected by a network designed to watch for nuclear weapons testing suggests that today's blast released hundreds of kilotons of energy. That would make it far more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by North Korea just days ago, and the largest rock to strike the earth since a meteor broke up over Siberia's Tunguska river in 1908. Despite its incredible power, the rock evaded detection by astronomers. Estimates show it was likely only 15 meters across — too small to be seen by networks searching for near earth asteroids." Today's meteor event came a day after California scientists proposed a system to vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth. Of course, the process needs to be started when the asteroid is still tens of millions of kilometers away; there's no chance to shoot down something that's already arrived.

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196 comments

Still overdue (4, Interesting)

Grayhand (2610049) | about a year ago | (#42916641)

They say to expect a Tunguska sized one once a century and this one wasn't that big. They mostly ocean explode or strike so there's few signs of them but an ocean strike can be worse than a land one given the water they displace. They've got to wake up and start properly funding the near Earth program. It still won't protect against rouges but at least they can map ones that cross our orbit.

Re:Still overdue (5, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#42916663)

It still won't protect against rouges but at least they can map ones that cross our orbit.

At first blush, that would seem to reduce the usefulness significantly....

Re:Still overdue (5, Funny)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#42916865)

I thought the same when I red that.

Re:Still overdue (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42916911)

I'm green with envy at your punning skills. Is there any punning course I could cyan up to?

Re:Still overdue (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#42917125)

I think there is one at the University of Alabama, home of the Crimson Tide.

Re:Still overdue (3, Funny)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#42917639)

I'm glad that no one was puceillalimous enough to post these puns as AC...

Re:Still overdue (5, Interesting)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about a year ago | (#42917057)

this thing was 15 meters across, jet black, and moving like a bat out of hell. To paraphrase people that look for near earth objects "Its invisible until it hits the atmosphere."

The sad fact of the matter is, no matter how much money you pour into programs to locate and track near earth objects, there is no way to detect objects of this size and velocity with any degree of reliability.

And even then, we *don't* want to shoot it *down*! (4, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about a year ago | (#42917169)

this thing was 15 meters across, jet black, and moving like a bat out of hell. To paraphrase people that look for near earth objects "Its invisible until it hits the atmosphere." The sad fact of the matter is, no matter how much money you pour into programs to locate and track near earth objects, there is no way to detect objects of this size and velocity with any degree of reliability.

The fine summary notes,

Today's meteor event came a day after California scientists proposed a system to vaporize asteroids that threaten Earth. Of course, the process needs to be started when the asteroid is still tens of millions of kilometers away; there's no chance to shoot down something that's already arrived.

Well, there's part of the problem right there -- we don't want to shoot the things *down*, we want to shoot them *up* and *away*. Meteors and asteroids are only a problem when they come down!

Re:And even then, we *don't* want to shoot it *dow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917715)

Well we don't want to shoot down stuff, we want to "blow UP" stuff!

Re:Still overdue (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#42918787)

Why not? I'm not a space guy so maybe I'm missing something but doesn't radar work in space? Again if i'm missing something my bad, a guy can't know everything, but it seems to me if we can use radio telescopes to look so deeply into space then we ought to be able to build something that uses less power in space to watch our solar system for nasties.

Re:Still overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917087)

Exactly! It still boggles the mind as to how that managed to avoid detection until so late. I mean seriously, scientists are tracking all things orbiting the earth the size of a dime or larger (or so I recall reading, I may be mistaken, but I recall it being something ludicrously small), yet they can't see something the size OF A SMALL BUILDING until it's literally burning up in the atmosphere.

Clearly, we need to get some satellites up there that, instead of spying ON the earth, are looking in the OTHER direction, and can tell us "oh hey, that big-ass chunk of rock is flying straight at the big blue marble they're all living on".

Re:Still overdue (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917353)

There is a big difference between tracking things in orbit, and things that are far away and at orbital distances for only a few seconds. And when they talk of tracking dime sized orbital debris, that is usually in pretty low orbits, and not possible in farther out orbits, distances crossed by such meteors in a fraction of a second.

For comparison, while it was a big deal when tracking a 80 metric ton that hit Africa in 2008, that was more the exception than the norm. There is a big difference between something like this that is 15 m in size and a few metric tons and 2012 DA14 that was also in the news at 40+m and 200,000 metric tons.

Re:Still overdue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42918125)

a 15 m meteor has a volume described by 4/3*pi*r^3 = 1750 m^3 with the density of solid rock from 2500 kg/m^3 and upwards this gives a mass of about 4500 tons

Re:Still overdue (4, Funny)

Gilmoure (18428) | about a year ago | (#42917433)

Ah, well, now that this is out of the way, the rest of the century should be rather pleasant.

Re:Still overdue (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#42917751)

They say to expect a Tunguska sized one once a century and this one wasn't that big. They mostly ocean explode or strike so there's few signs of them but an ocean strike can be worse than a land one given the water they displace. They've got to wake up and start properly funding the near Earth program. It still won't protect against rouges but at least they can map ones that cross our orbit.

This one also had to reckon with Vladimir Putin, Russia's answer to Chuck Norris, it didn't dare strike Moscow.

Re:Still overdue (-1)

durrr (1316311) | about a year ago | (#42918631)

A once a century event. And it hit no one that deserved it? Such a shame.
Though I guess Steve Jobs and Hitler weren't availible as targets.

Re:Still overdue (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42918655)

They say to expect a Tunguska sized one once a century and this one wasn't that big. They mostly ocean explode or strike so there's few signs of them but an ocean strike can be worse than a land one given the water they displace. They've got to wake up and start properly funding the near Earth program. It still won't protect against rouges but at least they can map ones that cross our orbit.

Really?

Just detecting these things can cost billions. Doing anything about them can cost trillions.

And most of these are air-burst, like yesterday's, (and like Tunguska). Since statistically, 3/4 of all are likely to hit ocean, the return on investment is going to be un-measurably small.

Air bursts over water are not likely to generate any significant amount of water displacement, and therefore no ocean wave damage.
In fact, if you take the Tunguska event, you learn from wiki "To the explorers' surprise, no crater was to be found. There was instead around ground zero a vast zone (8 kilometres [5.0 mi] across) of trees scorched and devoid of branches, but standing upright.". A similar event over water might generate some local surface waves, but nothing of significance because there would be nothing offering any resistance to the blast wave.

Take something the size of the object that created Meteor Crater (50 meters in diameter), about 3 1/2 times as big as yesterday's object, didn't air-burst, but a substantial portion of it burned up on entry. The crater (3/4 miles in diameter) could have killed at most several million people if it hit down town London or New York city. But the biggest cities on earth are a tiny target.

But its likely it would have never been spotted, not by any technology today, and not by any technology proposed. I suspect the cost of developing the technology and maintaining it year in and year out, upgrading it every so often, shutting it down in periods of austerity, firing it back up when fears are rekindled are simply not worth the effort, especially when you consider the chance of success is minuscule at best. Its most beneficial effect would be as a jobs program, for people who believe the government should be the source of all jobs.

Re:Still overdue (2)

osu-neko (2604) | about a year ago | (#42919347)

"Overdue"? That's not how it works. Meteor strikes aren't like earthquakes, where the longer the time between them, the more pressure builds up. They're just essentially random. Which means you're never "overdue" for one. They don't happen at regular intervals, and a thousand years without one doesn't make one one iota more likely next year...

Rain of Iron and Ice (3, Informative)

MetricT (128876) | about a year ago | (#42916693)

My favorite book on impacts. Scarier than any Stephen King novel you'll ever read, because it's real.

http://www.amazon.com/Rain-Iron-And-Ice-Bombardment/dp/0201154943/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360966611&sr=8-1&keywords=rain+of+iron+and+ice [amazon.com]

Re:Rain of Iron and Ice (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917541)

Well, if it were a Stephen King novel, the ending would be terrible and not fit in with the rest of the book anyway. If Stephen King wrote the ending, it would probably involve the hand of god magically coming down and crushing the meteor or something retarded.

Screw you "The Stand". You had SUCH potential to have been an absolutely amazing book through and through.

Aaaand then he wrote the ending, aka "I don't feel like writing this book any more, fuck it, just type whatever." Just like all of his books. At least his short stories tend to be better, since they either don't "need" an end, or are too short for him to just give up towards the end.

What a country! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42916743)

In USA, prisoners smash rocks. In Soviet Russia, rocks smashes prisoners!

Re:What a country! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42918747)

In Hollywood, Hulk smash!

Pictures of fallen meteorites ? (2)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#42916781)

Anyone seen pictures of pieces on the ground ? (The hole in Lake Chebarkul [twitter.com] doesn't count.) There should be a nice strewn field from this event, and it shouldn't be hard to find pieces, which would tell us what it was made of.

Re:Pictures of fallen meteorites ? (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#42917269)

Anyone seen pictures of pieces on the ground ?

Just check eBay. There will be more pieces on offer there, then actually fell to the ground.

Real soon.

Re:Pictures of fallen meteorites ? (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#42917275)

One early report suggested the composition is probably mostly iron. Nothing so far about "black oil" or unscrewing noises.

Re:Pictures of fallen meteorites ? (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#42917501)

I actually hope it was ice (with a nice dust covering). Perfect place to land to preserve pieces of ice.

Crash on parliament (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42916783)

Can't they just rain down on the parliaments, congresses and boardrooms of the world? Eliminating concentrations of power and bringing down governments and corporations?

Anarchy, burn down the parliament, and hanging around hallways trying to get a birds eye view. Little by little.

Nature is wrong (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42916785)

"A meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the earth in more than a century, Nature reports."

Meteors don't hit earth, meteorites do.

Re:Nature is wrong (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42916955)

Or is it a meteor that hits, only becoming a meteorite at the moment of contact?

Re:Nature is wrong (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#42919351)

No, it's a meteoroid that hits. This is seen as a meteor. Upon contact you are correct, it's a meteorite.

Re:Nature is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917023)

When meteors are outlawed, only outlaws will have meteorites!

Re:Nature is wrong (2)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#42917127)

"A meteor that exploded over Russia's Chelyabinsk region this morning was the largest recorded object to strike the earth in more than a century, Nature reports."

Meteors don't hit earth, meteorites do.

Is the atmosphere not Earth?

Re:Nature is wrong (5, Informative)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year ago | (#42917299)

"Meteorite: A meteor that survives its passage through the earth's atmosphere such that part of it strikes the ground."

Re:Nature is wrong (1)

CrashandDie (1114135) | about a year ago | (#42918817)

So a meteorite is a meteor. Wouldn't that mean that the meteorite that did hit us, was, in fact, also a meteor?

Or does being a meteorite mean you can't be a meteor anymore? Yet, being a meteorite means you were a meteor before?

So, small recap, you have to be a meteor to become a meteorite, but once you become that, you're no longer a meteor.

Re:Nature is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917331)

"Is the atmosphere not earth?" Not to me. The earth is under my feet. That meteor burnt up before striking solid ground.

Re:Nature is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917373)

While in space it is a meteoroid, when it falls through the atmosphere it is a meteor and when on the ground it is a meteorite . Your guess is as good as mine what it would be called during the impact with the ground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteoroid

Re:Nature is wrong (4, Funny)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year ago | (#42917589)

Your guess is as good as mine what it would be called during the impact with the ground.

"Inconvenient"

Re:Nature is wrong (2)

craznar (710808) | about a year ago | (#42917427)

Only if you say strike earth (as in earth being dirt), however in terms of the biosphere we call earth - they both hit earth.

One of course doesn't reach the surface of the earth, as it burns up in the atmosphere of the earth.

Re:Nature is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42919089)

Meteorites don't explode. Meteors do.

It was a meteoroid when it was in space, a meteor when it it entered the atmosphere and exploded, and the pieces that fell to the ground after the explosion were meteorites. According to NASA, it was 12-15 miles high when it exploded, releasing 300-500 kilotons of energy.

Dr. Ray Stantz was right! (2)

cashman73 (855518) | about a year ago | (#42916841)

It was "the biggest interdimensional cross rip since the Tunguska blast of 1909!" I wonder if Dr. Egon Spengler is en route to Russia right now trying to get samples of victims' brain tissue?

Interesting times... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#42916881)

... will come when the top 0.1% realizes that as things are now, they could be wiped without warning, no matter where they are. Maybe this could convince a few of then in investing in something for everyone's benefit.

Re:Interesting times... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917313)

The rich don't concern themselves with such things. It's hard for them to see the bigger picture past their gold-plated fifth yacht.

The single only way the upper caste will take notice of such things is if a meteorite literally destroys one of the top 10 richest people's homes. If it doesn't directly affect them, they won't give even the slightest of two shits.

Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (4, Informative)

erice (13380) | about a year ago | (#42916923)

This one, Tunguska,and one in 1947 called Sikhote-Alin [wikipedia.org] that some are claiming is bigger than yesterday's rock (though still smaller than Tunguska).

Granted, Russia is the largest country in the world by land area but do *all* the big rocks have to land there?

Re:Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#42916977)

Granted, Russia is the largest country in the world by land area but do *all* the big rocks have to land there?

Yes, the citizens of New York should definitely write a petition to the Universe to have a few large rocks redirected towards them. :-)

Re:Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (4, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#42917093)

its ok D.C. can have first dibs on the next one

Re:Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917947)

Could you have that super sized please, like twice the Tunguska ones size?????

Re:Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917759)

Granted, Russia is the largest country in the world by land area but do *all* the big rocks have to land there?

Guess how they got those nice, plentiful resources of rare earth materials....

Re:Does Russia have a bullseye painted on it? (2)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#42917837)

Well, I think you partially answered your own question. First, there's a lot of ocean where the event is unlikely to be reported. Next, Russia (and the areas of the former USSR) comprise a huge land mass. Even though it's sparsely populated it's enough people for the events to get reported. Next, it's a civilization with ongoing contact with the West. There might be oral traditions in much of Africa recording such events; but they might be recorded in a way that we haven't interpreted properly (e.g., colorful language about the gods being angry and the Earth trembling). We don't have ongoing respectful contact with the rest of the world going back more than 100 years. Thus, even when we figure out what happened from looking at the archaeological record and match it up with local accounts, it doesn't have the same cultural impact (no pun intended). Finally, in the wonderfully weird world of statistics not only are random events permitted to cluster, they are actually expected to cluster.

This 'glass' substance needs to be banned! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917031)

Such a small object causes such injury because of glass! Why do the world's leaders leave us peons so unprotected by this menace! There should be rules and regulations ... in fact, no, all glass just needs to be banned!

kiloTONs of ENERGY? (2)

Karganeth (1017580) | about a year ago | (#42917143)

Energy is measured in joules fools.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917163)

Energy is measured in joules fools.

Not necessarily, but if it was a Kiloton of energy I doubt we'd be discussing it.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917251)

1 kiloton = 89.9 zetajoules

A kiloton is a perfectly fine (if rather silly) measure of energy: it's a measure of mass, and mass is equivalent to energy. Granted, 20KT of conversion energy is probably not what the editor meant when writing that...

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917389)

Joules are so quaint, I prefer to stick to eV, which works for both energy and mass when using theorist units.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917455)

The ENERGY released by Nuclear bombs is often measured in kilotons which is an equivalent weight of tnt. Therefore, kilotons makes sense, but it is a weird unit.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (5, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about a year ago | (#42917469)

The kiloton unit came into use to describe the explosive energy of the early nuclear bombs. A one kiloton nuclear explosion released the same energy as a 1000 ton (kiloton) TNT explosion. For people in the 1950's who were used to reading about 500 lb. and 1000 lb bombs used in WWII, it provided a useful mental scale.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917475)

And ionizing radiation is measured in sieverts. That doesn't mean it can't also be measured in bananas. So too can energy be measured by the mass of TNT which would release an equivalent amount of energy when exploded. The "TNT" part may have been omitted, but it's commonly understood that when mass is used to measure explosive energy, it's referring to the mass of TNT.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42919141)

Realisticly, measuring ionizing radiation in bananas is only meaningful if the source is potassium. For anything else, speaking of a banana equivalent dose in Seiverts is meaningless, because Sieverts are like REM, they are adjusted to mean a biologically equivalent dose, not what would be the same amount of energy as measured by a physical device such as a Geiger counter or film badge. BED is also a biological equivalent dose, but it assumes the target creature actually eats the banana (rather than, for example, inhaling a vaporized one), and other assumptions (like the total dose won't be large enough to screw up the organism so bad it can't excrete potassium at normal rates) so you can't convert. Actually physically equivalent energies are measured in units such as Grays and should interconvert, but biological equivalence isn't defined over the same range and so shouldn't. Saying you can use bananas as a standard measurement is therefore like claiming you can use Hugh Jackmans as a meaningful measurement when talking about K D Lang's sex drive.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (-1, Flamebait)

fatphil (181876) | about a year ago | (#42917519)

Bullshit.

Once you have a shsared concept of an anergy per mass conversion, such as b specifying an explosive, then mass and energy are interconvertable, the scaling factor is decided. Normally things like "of TNT" are used, and that's a perfectly well accepted conversion factor.

Except amongst anal cunts.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917655)

What are you talking about? If they indeed said "kilotons of energy" (I haven't read the article) ... then that is a flawed statement. If they said "kilotons of TNT", then that is accurate.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42919081)

"Ton of TNT" is now a defined unit and frequently abbreviated to just ton, kiloton, megaton, etc. (or just kt, Mt), especially in the context of nuclear weapons and impact events. It is not really wrong, just informal.

Re:kiloTONs of ENERGY? (3, Informative)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year ago | (#42918013)

Energy is measured in joules fools.

Yes it is, professor, and a kiloton is 4.18*10^12 of them.

Further proof of global warming (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917173)

We're living in a time when we're enduring the worst droughts in decades, most hurricanes in a century, the warmest decade ever recorded, and now the biggest meteor in century dumped meteorites upon Russia. When will everyone finally admit that our massive carbon footprints are to blame?! Bill Nye was wrong [youtube.com].

Re:Further proof of global warming (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42918745)

I know I'm somewhat foolishly responding to an ac but I can't help myself. I just HAVE to know by what twisted fucking logic you tie a meteor striking the earth into the people of earth's carbon footprint.

I thought it was a piece of comet (2)

UncleWilly (1128141) | about a year ago | (#42917191)

I thought it was a piece of comet that exploded over Siberia's Tunguska river in 1908 - I also thought it was common knowledge - go figure.

Re:I thought it was a piece of comet (2)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#42917461)

Yeah, summary is wrong. There wasn't even an impact, just explosion and fireball (no solid remains). Carl Sagan gave a pretty interesting description of how it was determined that it was a piece of comet in Cosmos episode 4, Heaven and Hell. Perhaps submitter and /.'s editors should give it a watch. Like in the first 10 minutes iirc. Should still be on instant on Netflix and probably Youtube too.

Re:I thought it was a piece of comet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917693)

If I wanted a Russian history lesson, I would have asked Mr. Chekov.

Re:I thought it was a piece of comet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917769)

Meteors are generally pieces from a comet's debris stream. Few are of stoney (asteroid) origin.

Relativity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917753)

Earth doesn't hit meteors. Earthites do.

Silly gooses. It's rather quaint that we have this rule. If you dropped a car out of a plane, the resulting wreck is not a "carite", so what's up with meteors? For that matter, who doesn't know what you mean? Good rule of thumb, if people already know what you mean there's no reason to correct them other than to demonstrate that you're a fucking pedant.

Re:Relativity (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year ago | (#42919235)

Meteorite was originally coined as a mineral name, specifically for the high nickle iron content meteors that were effectively an iron ore, like magnetite, hematite or siderite. The people who adapted this word to mean just any rock that fell from space were going against the more precise use. It's like somebody had an at least fairly precise term, such as bird, and people adapted it to include many other things that fly (bats, pterosaurs, maple-seeds and certain types of origami), and then half of them got all Grammer Nazi on people who used the phrase 'dead birds' and the rest on the ones who wanted to lump DC-3s in with those other things, and yet none of the Grammer Nazis could admit they had stolen a term from a bunch of biologists and really mangled its use to where it's not surprising the general public isn't going along 'properly'. Here, the astronomers 'stole' the term from metalurgy and mangled the definition, then within a few generations we have astronomers and fans all upset with the public for not sticking with this misuse.

wonder what the nuke detection satellites saw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42917797)

Musta been some puckering by the US and whoever else has satellites that detect nuclear explosions ... we'll read about it in 30 years when that's declassified .. or wikileaks publishes what the satellites saw ...

About 3000t mass, and 100kt energy (2)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year ago | (#42917955)

So, despite "serious" news agencies (like Associated Press) saying otherwise, it turns out this thing wasn't just a 10 ton asteroid. Which isn't entirely unsurprising. [wordpress.com] Getting a shockwave like that simply took the energy of a small thermonuclear warhead.

Now I'm still wondering, what about the reports that the russians tried to shoot down the asteroid? It's not unrealistic [wordpress.com] it's like ... almost real!

Re:About 3000t mass, and 100kt energy (1)

The Sad Nazgul (2803507) | about a year ago | (#42918983)

The best estimate, as of about an hour ago, is that the explosion was about 0.5 megatons, give or take a factor of about two. Of course, this is still a work in progress.

Kiloton? Kessel Run? (1)

kackle (910159) | about a year ago | (#42918037)

What's a "kiloton of energy"? Is that like a Kessel Run done in so many parsecs?

Re:Kiloton? Kessel Run? (3, Informative)

tp1024 (2409684) | about a year ago | (#42918123)

By convention, it is the energy released by spontaneous decomposition of 1000t of trinitrotoluol - or 4.2 TJ of energy.

Amazon crater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42918219)

The second biggest meteor hit in the upper Amazon in the 1930s, so not many people to see it (well make that 1) and a land surface that will repair very quickly, the estimate from the recorded observation is ~300 kiloton.

Hole in Lake Chebarku Bogus? (0)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#42918711)

I now think the hole in Lake Chebarku [gizmodo.com] is not the real impact site. Reasoning :

It is too regular. Not impossible, but suspicious. I would also expect such an impact to fracture the nearby ice, but that seems pretty solid.

There should be a strewn field all around (i.e., other pieces), with easy to find small pieces on the snow/ice on top of the lake nearby. This would basically be a repeat of Targish Lake. I have heard no report of such finds.

If fishermen go out on the ice, fishermen cut holes in the ice. I would want to verify that they never cut 30 m holes.

Re:Hole in Lake Chebarku Bogus? (1)

mbone (558574) | about a year ago | (#42919067)

On the other hand...

http://rt.com/news/meteorite-crash-urals-chelyabinsk-283/ [rt.com]

Police officers, environmentalists and EMERCOM experts at the site of a meteorite hit in the Chelyabinsk Region. Small 0.5-1 cm pieces of black matter resembling rock were found around the ice hole caused by the meteorite. Photo courtesy of the press service of the Interior Ministry's Main Directorate for the Chelyabinsk Region.(RIA Novosti)

(That's the caption to the second picture of the hole).

That is exactly what I would expect from a real hit. So maybe it is real.

OMG, the biggest in a century!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42919055)

It must be Global Warming!!!

Such sloppy reporting - did not strike earth (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#42919077)

the rock exploded over the earth, some fragments hit the ground, but this rock did not strike anything but atmosphere

timmay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42919095)

"...millions of kilometers away; there's no chance to shoot down something that's already arrived."

You lie! Superman could do it.
And probably Dr. Evil.

asteroids read slashdot (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#42919327)

The asteroid clearly read all the "we want to catch and mine an asteroid" stories on slashdot lately and was all like "Ok, I'm coming down"
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