Friday, February 15, 2013


Woke up in the middle of the night to check Twitter and see the planet has been hit by a meteorite. You don't get that every day.  Came down over Russia (why is it always Russia?) Four hundred hurt, mostly by broken glass and debris, and the roof of a factory collapsed.

Ah, Russian dashcams:

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My learnings from that are as follows: If something travelling at many times the speed of sound goes overhead completely silently, don't stand near plate glass windows until *after* the sonic boom arrives.

There were clearly two fragments travelling together. There seems to be substantial confusion about whether they actually exploded or it was just the shockwave that did the damage. We hear that there is an 'impact crater' in the ice of a lake but I guess we'll know more when I get up again in the real morning.

There's another one due in a few hours, size of an Olympic™ ® swimming pool (who estimates hurtling sky rocks in units of 'the swimming pool'? Bloody astronomers) but this is slated to miss the planet by about 17,150 thousand miles which sounds like a lot but is less than the mileage on what I think of as my new car.  And is closer to Earth than our communications satellites.

Also, the Pope recently resigned. Does he know something we don't know? Any Mayans want to comment?


Bruv said...

Hi Sis

Speculation is that it wasn't a meteorite or meteor, but may have been part (or all) of a small comet and that is why there is very little debris. What has been found would appear to point to only 10% iron, therefore could be classified as "stoney" if it was a meteor / meteorite rather than debris in the comet if that is what it was.
I had always thought that meteors were larger than meteorites, but it seems I was wrong and that meteors are grain size lumps that burn up in the atmosphere, whereas meteorites actuall make landfall. I suppose this myth was brought about by the various films from the the 50s/60s and 70s that talked about the meteor that killed the earth etc.

By the way finally got the telescope working so that it tracks and have been looking at Jupite a few times recently and on max zoom can clearly see the red banding and the moons. Now also got amoon filter and it enhances the the contrast, I will have to get a photo to you when I can sort out the T mount etc. BTW not seen any green men eating cheese on it yet.


Bruv said...

Hi Sis

Now I am totally confused, New Scientist (so it must be correct) have called the object a meteor, not a meteorite!!!!



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