back to article HYPERSONIC METEOR smashes into Russia, injuring hundreds

Up to 500 people* are believed to be injured after a meteorite blazed through the sky and smashed into central Russia this morning. The space rock, estimated by the Russian Academy of Sciences to weigh 10 tonnes, hit the atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000km/h and is believed to have shattered around 30 to 50 km above …

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  1. spiny norman

    Is it my imagination, or do large meteorites always land in Russia?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You

      I think the Mexicans would beg to differ.

      (But if I had to bet somewhere on land I'd pick Russia.)

    2. DJV Silver badge
      Happy

      Russia

      It's a bit like alien spaceships always landing in the USA. Oh wait, it was real life and not Hollywood this time around.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Have you seen how large Russia is compared to any other country?

      Most meteorites hit the ocean. The next largest target is Russia, just by sheer surface area alone. By random chance, therefore, more meteorites will hit Russia than any other country. And actually by quite a large margin.

      1. Philip Lewis
        Headmaster

        Mercator

        Yes, it's big, but not quite as big as the Mercator projection suggests.

        You might look at a Gall-Peter projection to align yourself with more accurate relative realities.

        Or entertain/educate yourself here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gall%E2%80%93Peters_projection

        * Bootnote: The political aspects of the Gall-Peters projection were part of a West Wing episode

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mercator

          Russia is almost twice as big as Canada but only slightly over 55% the size of Africa

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: Mercator

            Africa isn't a country, it's a continent. If someone says that "Russia gets more metorites", you can't say "No, Africa gets more"... it's an unfair comparison. If they said "Asia gets more", then that would be valid.

            Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_outlying_territories_by_total_area

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Mercator

              It also has a large east-west extent and since most things flying around the solar system are in the plane they are going to be going sideways on the map

        2. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Mercator

          Can't let that pass without an XKCD reference.

        3. Darren B 1

          Re: Mercator

          Am I the only person who misread that as Gail Porter?

        4. tony2heads
          Boffin

          Re: Mercator

          Other fields have noticed the problem with Mercator giving a huge area distortion, astronomers often use

          Hammer-Aitoff or Mollweide

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

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

      2. xperroni
        Mushroom

        This is Russia!

        Today in Sao Paulo (Brazil, for the geographically impaired) people were whining about how strong was the rain last night.

        Meanwhile in Russia it rained rocks.

        And people here think they have it rough...

    4. Knight of Few Words

      Yes, but it is the biggest country on Earth.

    5. ecofeco Silver badge
      Trollface

      In Russia, you don't hit meteorite, meteorite hits YOU!

      1. Mips
        Childcatcher

        In Russia, you don't hit meteorite, meteorite hits YOU!

        This is true. And it is a good job that the meteorite came in at an oblique angle so as to dissipate most of the energy in the atmosphere. If it landed ant anything like vertical. Wow. Goodnight!

        1. itzman

          Re: In Russia, you don't hit meteorite, meteorite hits YOU!

          "If it landed at anything like vertical. Wow. Goodnight!"

          Not really.

          It was total energy wise a few hundred kilotonnes.

          Unless it hit a populated area, it would be a lot less than many atomic tests.

          Its STILL got to do a lot of atmosphere penetration even at 90 degrees to the surface.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      I have been saying this for years...

      What is wrong with the morons?

      NOW is the time to have the nukes converted for deep space, long range missions, and to get the technology and the kill / deflection into the sun rates right up into the 100% mark.

      It's no use sitting on our collective arses until one day when the "Telescope Tommies" say, "Ohhhhhhhh Nooooooooo - this is going to hit annnnnnnd it's a REAL big one. How long till it hits? Mmmmmmm about 5 days."

      Of course while we have had tens of thousands of nukes sitting in the silos for 50 years, doing nothing more than making profits for the banks and the military industrial complex.....

      Meanwhile thousands and thousands of these "sucker punch" asteroids go coasting by silently through the darkness of space - ever so close.... ever so temptingly close.

      Just waiting to wipe us all out....

      Unless we wipe them out first.

      The afterthought - or the people who need to be kicked into the gutter and left there.

      But as I may add, there really are dumb fucks who think that having half a continent wiped out, and decades of shit in the atmosphere to wipe out most of the rest, is of less importance than the odd nuke fucking up....

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: I have been saying this for years...

        Ok generally I think I agree, but the part where you claim nukes sitting in silos make profit for someone... they're a sunk investment (literally), paid for once, with most of the maintenance work being to keep them clean and dry. Most of them don't even have fuel in unless the US is on extremely high alert because it tends to leak out of the vents and corrode the tanks. By and large the only people making any money from a nuclear silo are the electricity companies.

  2. AndrueC Silver badge
    Mushroom

    At that size and speed 'duck and cover' is probably all you can do :(

    1. Graham Marsden
      Mushroom

      ITYM...

      ... "Put your head between your knees and kiss your arse goodbye!"

      1. Joe Cooper
        Mushroom

        Re: ITYM...

        Interestingly, "duck and cover" is actually good advice here as well as in nuclear attacks and this event illustrates why _perfectly_.

        People were injured by glass debris. If you saw the flash from inside and stared out the window while your friend ducks and covers, only one of you is going to get a shitload of glass in your face.

        Nuclear bombs shit out lots of radiating. The flux drops off with the inverse square law, while the atmosphere in the device's vicinity is superheated and rushes outward. In a small area, everyone will die; in a much, much larger area, people staring at it will get a face full of glass, photons and more. They will be scalded, blind and cut while anyone who ducks and covers will not. If it has a moderate effect on the building, people under desks will be safer.

        In short; the vast majority of people effected by a given nuclear detonation _will_ be better off if they duck and cover. Unless you know factually that you're in the minority of people who are 100% auto-screwed – and you don't – it is totally legit to duck and cover.

        Mushroom cloud, because, boom.

        1. Joe Cooper

          Re: ITYM...

          "shit out lots of radiating"

          ahem, radiation.

          1. 404
            Boffin

            I see nothing wrong

            with 'shit out lots of radiating' as a technical term for radiation - you're pretty much fscked either way.

            1. Joe Cooper
              Happy

              Re: I see nothing wrong

              *bows

  3. Dr Who

    Bruce!

    Fetch me Bruce and his Black & Decker right now!

    And who the f**k made the decision to decommission the shuttle fleet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bruce!

      IIRC they mothballed one for "emergency" re-commissioning

      1. Joe Cooper

        Re: Bruce!

        "IIRC they mothballed one for "emergency" re-commissioning"

        I think that's from a Family Guy episode.

        The shuttle is not for emergencies even when the program is fully active; it is very complicated and time consuming to prepare it for launch and sensitive to weather. Delays are rampant. Even when the fleet was live, it could take months to prepare a shuttle for flight and it usually would not do so immediately.

        Which is fine for what it is, but what it isn't for is emergencies.

        If they wanted to rush one up right now and money were no object, I'd bet it'd take 1 year absolute minimum and have a high risk of loss of mission or crew.

        Finallly; the Shuttle cannot do missions beyond low earth orbit. It only has about 300 m/second of delta-v. This is about 1/10 what the Apollo CSM could do. Intercepting an asteroid is even harder. When one is _passing_ by the Earth you'd have to get up past Earth escape velocity. If it's coming _at_ the Earth, things get much hairier.

        Again, totally OK for what it is, but what it isn't for is intercepting asteroids.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bruce!

      "And who the f**k made the decision to decommission the shuttle fleet?"

      Investment banks - when they attempted to trouser all our money by gambling that they could make a killing on flipping sub-prime mortgage backed securities before the regulators got around to actually questioning what the hell these securities were anyway.

      Global economic crash. Re-think on public spending.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Related?

    It is very easy to imagine that asteroids can travel in "clusters" with much smaller objects. Whatever created the main asteroid could have easily created shards that travel in relatively close proximity. This is a more likely explanation than it being super rare.

    1. ScottAS2
      FAIL

      Re: Not Related?

      *Ahem* Did you not read the bit about them coming from completely different directions?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Related?

        "them coming from completely different directions?"

        Might be an alien asteroid defense system? perhaps they've been firing 'meteors' at the asteroid for years trying to stop it crashing into their planet/ space station sometime in the future. I expect more of these hitting the earth over the next day or two.

      2. Winkypop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Not Related?

        Clearly a cunning plan.

        That's exactly what THEY want you to think.

        I for one....

      3. NomNomNom

        Re: Not Related?

        even if they came in different directions it doesn't rule out them being part of the same cluster.

        Space time is curved remember so one of the space rocks in the cluster could have fallen out and swooped away and back round the Earth like a boomerang making it look like they came in different directions.

        "Apart from the different direction, the asteroid arrives 18 hours after the meteorite strike."

        that kind of confirms my swooping theory. If an asteroid swooped you'd expect it to get here first.

        1. Joe Cooper

          Re: Not Related?

          Don't get all "space time is curved" on us.

          If they're in a moving group then they're subject to roughly the same forces and will follow the same trajectory. If an asteroid "swooped" – they don't, by the way – you'd expect everything traveling with it to swoop along with. Unless, of course, they're not the same cluster.

          Gravity is not selective. It drops with the inverse square law and at these scales and distances the gravity gradient is irrelevant to a cluster of meteoroids. It's not going to pluck one out and send it on some winding path.

      4. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Coat

        @ScottAS2 Re: Not Related?

        *Ahem* yourself. Have you never played Meteors/Asteroids? You shoot at one big one a bit, and suddenly you have four small ones, at least one of which zips off the screen to the right, then hits you coming from the left.

        See? It's perfectly possible for bits of one meteor to come in from totally different directions. It also shows that you're not done once you've shot the big lump, you have to hit all the debris as well. And the alien ship that comes in firing randomly when you're too slow, and the small alien ship that comes firing at you when you're too slow hitting the big ships.

    2. Anonymous John

      Re: Not Related?

      Apart from the different direction, the asteroid arrives 18 hours after the meteorite strike. The Earth will have travelled about 2 million kilometres in that time, so it would have to be a huge cluster for both events to be related.

  5. LoPath
    Mushroom

    And this is how it all starts...

    1. Graham Marsden
      Pirate

      Don't you mean...

      ... how it all ends?!

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Alert

    Hello, I am bear, welcome to Russia!

    Isn't Chelyabinsk the most radioactive city outside of the Prypiat/Chernobyl axis? Now pelted by HUGE METEOR? Hardcore.

    > 54,000km/h

    That's about 15 km/s. Not too fast, not too slow. As this is a morning impact, it must be a rock being overtaken by Earth?

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Hello, I am bear, welcome to Russia!

      Chelyabinsk-70, or Snezhinsk, is the most heavily contaminated city in the world, yes. Im pretty sure that this is just the city of Chelyabinsk, which is over 50 miles away.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Oops

    Someone's ICBM test went bad

    On a more serious note this might be a good advertisement to increase near earth orbit funding.

    10 tonnes of rock does not have to be much more than 2 metres across.

    1. Bakunin
      Holmes

      Re: Oops

      "On a more serious note this might be a good advertisement to increase near earth orbit funding"

      It's just the universe's gentle reminder that everyone clinging to the same small rocky planet isn't a safe bet. (civilisation wise)

      Now, must go sort out some off planet backups for my data.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Oops

        Gentle reminder?

        More like the second (and final) warning.

        I have a feeling that "three strikes and you're out" is a universally applied fundamental law of persuasion...

    2. Dr Insanity

      Re: Oops

      @John Smith 19: no more than 2 metres across? Why, that's no bigger than a wamp rat

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy Theory

    It was Iran's failed dog rocket.

    North Korean satellite thats now failed.

    Israel's Anti missile rocket that misfired.

    One of American/Russian spy satellite disintegrated.

    Jesus angry at Pope resigning.

    Aliens are testing their arrival velocity.

    Martian revenge and anger at "Curiosity's" intrusion on their planet.

    add more.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conspiracy Theory

      David Caeron and Boris Johnson farting thru their mouths, again.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Conspiracy Theory

        David Caeron and Boris Johnson farting thru their mouths, again.

        Sir, you are the epitome of wit and comedy. Do you have a nationwide comedy tour where I can hear more of your gems?

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy Theory

      God frustrated at Tetris

  9. kiwi8mail
    Alien

    "Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary intergalactic upsets...

    ... Only Dr Hans Zarkov, formerly at NASA, has provided any explanation... This morning's unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm."

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: "Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary intergalactic upsets...

      "Klytus, I'm bored. What plaything can you offer me today?"

      "An obscure body in the S-K system, Your Majesty. The inhabitants refer to it as the planet Earth."

      It has an elaborate ring in one pocket.

      1. Arnie

        Cue the orb

        (earth orbit two) "Earth (Gaia)" (A. Paterson/K. Weston) – 9:48

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MR62N14H3Y

    2. Roger Kynaston Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "Seemingly there is no reason for these extraordinary intergalactic upsets...

      More likely Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz has blown some snot out of his nose so fast it has overtaken his ship and got here first.

      Beer because it is Friday.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As D.A.M. hinted

    A bit of a coincidence, it landing on the home of Russias nuclear program and the most radioactive place on earth (thanks to at least 3 Chernobyl or bigger sized accidents).

    Until recently, Chelyabinsk's Doctors were not allowed to put cancer as cause of death !!

    1. Andrew Jones 2
      Facepalm

      Re: As D.A.M. hinted

      Generally cancer is not normally the cause of death is it? Organ failure tends to be the cause of death - cancer just causes the organ failure. I've always found it very inconsistent what they write down sometimes as the cause of death - for instance:

      My dad died of a heart attack, but while trying to give him mouth to mouth - he had some toast stuck in his throat - so the likely conclusion was that he choked and that caused a heart attack. His cause of death was a heart attack (not choking). In Hollyoaks Esther was at risk of death from renal failure - had she died - they would of classed the cause of death as renal failure and not "bullying" which caused the renal failure.

      So as you can see - cancer causing organ failure should therefore not be listed as the cause of death - the cause of death is organ failure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: the cause of death is organ failure

        And the cause of organ failure is ...

        You might as well say the cause of any death is cardiopulmonary arrest.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: the cause of death is organ failure

          The cause of organ failure is living.

          1. NomNomNom

            Re: the cause of death is organ failure

            organs can also fail if you hit the keys too hard

            1. bobbles31

              Re: the cause of death is organ failure

              I always thought that everyone dies of the same thing...lack of oxygen to the brain.

              1. Fibbles
                Trollface

                Re: the cause of death is organ failure

                Not if you die from hyperoxia.

                1. Vic

                  Re: the cause of death is organ failure

                  > Not if you die from hyperoxia.

                  Yes, even if you "die from hyperoxia".

                  There are two main types of hyperoxia - the Lorraine Smith effect and the Paul Bert effect.

                  The Lorraine Smith effect basically causes the lungs to give up. So even though there's loads of O2 in yuor lungs, there's very little in your brain.

                  The Paul Bert effect causes fitting. It's not excessively dangerous unless the fit causes other problems - the most commonplace, I believe, being loss of breathing apparatus underwater. There's also other possibilities, such as head injuries resulting from the fit. All of these cause a lack of oxygen being delivered to the brain (possibly because of a lack of blood being delivered to the brain).

                  So yes - nice quip, but not actually true...

                  Vic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As D.A.M. hinted

      The Farce is strong with this one. Try looking at the map.

  11. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Can any Russian-speaker here provide the gist of what was being in the car in the first video? The man sounded so very calm about what he was witnessing. My reaction would have been along the line of "Wha duh fu?!"

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      The gist

      What the fu*k is that? What kind of fu*king meteorite is this? Fu*k me. Unfu*kingbelievable. Fu*king incredible.

      And so on and so forth along the same line...

      1. Gazareth

        Re: The gist

        Sounded to me like they were discussing breakfast, or last night's football!

        Another day, another meteorite...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The gist

        Thanks.

  12. Matthew Smith

    Not a meterorite

    1. The trajectory across the sky was almost horizontal. It should have been vertical.

    2. It could be seen to be moving. If it truly was from space then it would be travelling at kms per second.

    3. While it would leave some vapour contrail, there was too much smoky contrail left undispersing in the sky.

    It was a plane.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Not a meterorite

      LOLNO. Vertical? WHY? Not moving? WHY?? No contrail? WHY???

      More physics, my dear friend.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Not a meterorite

        Of course it was a plane! A nukular chem-trail dispersing illuminati luxury airbus - eat dirt, you bastards!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a meterorite

      Eadon, is that you?

      Waiting for blame to be handed to Microsoft.

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Not a meterorite

      Trajectory - vertical would mean that it was aimed directly at the centre of the Earth from a very, very, very long way away. Horizontal means it skimmed it (more likely with a space object) and was caught in its gravity. You said the word yourself - TRAJECTORY. A straight trajectory in any direction around a gravity-pulling mass is very suspicious indeed.

      Perspective. You have no idea how far up it is, nor what speed it was doing. As a human, you can't judge 20-40mph by a (silent) car that passes in front of you. You could TAP the car at the right time, but you can't tell how fast it was going. Or else we'd need no speed cameras. As you get further away, the effect of your judgement gets worse. Planes fly at hundreds of miles per hour but sometimes you can barely see them move. By comparison, I was literally chasing Jupiter around the eyepiece of my telescope last night because it wouldn't stay fixed for more than a few seconds and I didn't have my equatorial mount set up correctly.

      Vapour contrail? Who says its vapour? And, even then, a plane leaves a contrail due to the exhaust heat (and sometimes just the movement of the air over an aerofoil), not because of what it burns. I'm guessing something travelling fast enough to break up rock in the atmosphere might get a little warmer than a plane's exhaust. It's literally boiling the water in the atmosphere as it comes in.

      Please, please, please... before you run off on mad conspiracy theories, check your facts. Go on Wikipedia, for a start, and look at what forms a contrail, why it would look like that, etc. Presenting "facts" like this just makes you look an idiot.

      1. Nigel 11
        Mushroom

        Re: Not a meterorite

        It's literally boiling the water in the atmosphere as it comes in.

        A masterly understatement. It's literally boiling the iron or whatever that it's made of. It's probably going past that, all the way to plasma. Afterwards, the iron, silicon, whatever condenses (as oxide, mostly) and hence the thick trail.

        If you watch the car footage you can actually see the trail appearing to burn for a few seconds. I expect that's a Nitrogen - Oxygen fire, or possibly or additionally an Oxygen - Iron fire if the meteor was iron.

        One of the worries prior to testing the first nuclear bomb was that it would ignite an (exothermic) Oxygen - Nitrogen combustion, that some thought might propagate to consume the Earth's entire atmosphere and everything living therein. I wonder if someone else pointed out that were that possible, a meteor strike would have done it long ago? Or did they just chance it?

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge

        @Lee D: Re: Not a meterorite

        Presenting "facts" like this just makes you look an idiot.

        Erm, why shouldn't he make himself look like an idiot when he clearly is one?

    4. Nigel 11
      Trollface

      Re: Not a meterorite

      "Should have been vertical". You must be a troll. No-one can be that thick around here, surely?

      Almost horizontal means that its intersect with the Earth just clipped our atmosphere. Dumped most of its energy at a decent altitude. Bloody good thing too. If that had come in much closer to vertical it would have been far more destructive of whatever was underneath.

      1. Darryl
        Holmes

        Re: Not a meterorite

        Not to mention that, even if the thing was coming in exactly vertical, you and the ground you're standing on are whizzing past at almost 1700 km/h due to the Earth's rotation (OK, maybe a little slower in Russia, but still...), which would skew the apparent trail quite a bit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11

        ""Should have been vertical". You must be a troll. No-one can be that thick around here, surely?"

        They most certainly can. For example the general calibre of comment on anything that has a US political or nationalistic element is always absolutely dire. I want separate forums for Reg comments. Mandatory membership of the US commentard forum for all the Yanks + Eadon and his ilk, and "Rest of World" for everybody else, where we generally have normal ratios of idiots to normal people.

        1. 404
          Trollface

          Re: Ledswinger

          Was going to post a thoughtful response, but to be fair, I shall use language more appropriate to the situation:

          Fuck You.

          ;)

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11500373 - 323 USA nobel prizes to the UKs 117.

            Now correct that for the number of inhabitants per country.

            US: slightly under 1 per million.

            UK: about 1.8 per million

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11

              However - extending the same statistics to just Cambridgeshire suggests that people from East Anglia are the brainiest in the world

            2. asdf

              Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11

              >US: slightly under 1 per million.

              >UK: about 1.8 per million

              Might have something to do with European bias from the Scandinavian selectors. The better question may be to look at the nationality of the universities they went to and taught at instead. UK is pretty solid in this regard also. Still by the nobel per capita measure you do get a pretty funky list in general. The only thing that stands out is the lack of muslim countries on the top of list.

              — Faroe Islands 1 49,483 202.090

              01 Saint Lucia 2 162,178 123.321

              02 Luxembourg 2 509,074 39.287

              03 Iceland 1 313,183 31.930

              04 Sweden 29 9,103,788 31.855

              05 Switzerland 25 7,925,517 31.544

              06 Denmark 14 5,543,453 25.255

              07 Austria 20 8,219,743 24.332

              08 Norway 11 4,707,270 23.368

              09 United Kingdom 119 63,047,162 18.875

              10 Timor-Leste 2 1,143,667 17.488

              11 Ireland 7 4,722,028 14.824

              12 Israel 10 7,590,758 13.174

              13 Germany 103 81,305,856 12.668

              14 Netherlands 19 16,730,632 11.356

              15 United States 338 314,976,000 10.731

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Not a meterorite@Nigel 11

            I hate people who make generalisations about people - them and the Belgians

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Greg J Preece

      @Matthew Smith

      I do hope you're trolling. I could spend the time to refute your post, but you are literally too stupid to challenge.

    6. TheRealRoland
      Facepalm

      Re: Not a meterorite

      This is what History Channel is doing to us! Won't someone think of the children!

    7. Andus McCoatover
      Facepalm

      Re: Not a meterorite

      Of course it was, dear boy!

      That's exactly why everyone living under Heathrow approach have to replace their window when a plane goes past. About 300 times a day. Glaziers must be happy!

      Oh, FFS, Matthew.

      Forehead, meet palm.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Supersonic alien chemtrails!

    A brand new conspiracy theory has landed.

  14. Timmay
    Mushroom

    Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

    Anyone else noticed that in all the videos we've seen of this, neither pedestrians or drivers seem at all fazed by the sight of a massive fireball screaming across the sky.

    In the vid here in the story, couple of people shuffling across the road, briefly glance up at it, carry on shuffling. And while I don't speak Russian, the people in the car seem extremely calm, no raised voices screaming "какого хрена это?!?!?!?!?!"

    1. Nigel 11
      Thumb Up

      Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

      My thought too. Are Russians completely unflappable, or is it a language where excitement is conveyed through choice of words rather than tone of voice?

      It's even more noticeable in the other video, of people when the shockwave arrives and smashes loads of windows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

        "Are Russians completely unflappable"

        Having been on a sinking vessel with a bunch of Russians, I would tend to say they're pretty unflappable indeed.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

      In Russia, people faze meteorite!

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

        The meteorite preferred to blow itself up rather than land in Russia.

        Seriously, I would freak out when seeing this thing get bigger and bigger and bigger.

        And don't look at it directly, do you want retina burn?

    3. cnapan

      Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

      It just seems that way, coming from a country whose railway stations now transmit special messages to warn of the danger of wet steps.

      1. NomNomNom

        Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

        In 30 years in the UK it will be illegal to build steps outside without putting some kind of shelter above them to prevent rain wetting them. Steps will considered a health and safety hazard in general. Buildings will convert outdoor steps to very long and gentle slopes with soft padding and gripping surfaces as well as erecting shelters to cover them.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

          Have you been injured at work by a hypersonic space rock?... you could be entitled to compensation

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

      It is simple, the Russian airlines are so bad, everyone has gotten used to things falling out of the sky in a ball of flames.

    5. illiad

      Re: Russians - hard as nails, not fazed at all

      well on RT at about 8Pm, that is exactly what they said... :) :) "какого хрена это?!?!?!?!?!" or similar things.. they may have removed that in some news channels, though... :P

  15. El Presidente
    Thumb Up

    A new improved use for Russian dashcams

    Pretty amazing footage, wonder if there are more to come as those things tend to travel in clumps*

    *correct scientific term.

    1. TheDillinquent
      Black Helicopters

      Re: A new improved use for Russian dashcams

      Probably.

      Me and a mate saw a v. bright, long lasting and huge meteorite over Hertford (SE England), travelling west to east at about 12.30 last night.

  16. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    More videos

    More videos here:

    http://lenta.ru/articles/2013/02/15/meteorite/

    Check the CCTV B&W video-only clip at the bottom - shows how powerful the shockwave was.

    1. Christoph

      Re: More videos

      Another collection here:

      http://www.szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu/meteoritdarabok-becsapodasa/

      It's amazing how many videos there are of something that happened very fast and was completely unexpected. Most seem to be security cameras and in-car recorders.

      1. Daniel B.

        Re: More videos

        According to a friend, it seems that in-car recorders are now required by law in Russia, given the incredibly extreme traffic accidents they have there. The cams are used to determine who's actually guilty, and so the "Russian car crash" video collections were born. Recently, one of such cams gave us a first-person view of that plane crashing into a highway incident.

    2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: More videos

      Allegedly, this is where the rock fell: a lake

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: More videos

        404: Not Found!

        Is this a new Tunguska coverup? Where is Fox Mulder??

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More videos

          Having trouble getting in, with his visa, seing as he is a foreigner there, and battling his interesting addiction maybe? ;) God knows how he could have noticed anything but Tea Leoni, though. Bit like Tiger Woods really, maybe we all want to slum it a bit to get in touch with our inner caveman ;)

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: More videos

        Sorry, there was a typo in the URL.

        Try this

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Alien

          Re: More videos

          Photoshop that picture in the ice so there is a giant, green tentacle curling out of the hole in the ice!!!

          Beware! Beware!!

  17. ukgnome

    Ten Tons?

    How the heck can I visualise that?

    I need a comparison, in buckets of fish, or Citroen AX's or summink

    1. Jaruzel
      Boffin

      Re: Ten Tons?

      10 Tons is about 10.67 fully laden Citroen AX's or approximately 2,000 buckets of fish*

      There you go. Now if only you had the internet, you could have worked that out yourself ;)

      -Jar

      (*depending on fish and bucket size.)

      1. ukgnome
        Pint

        Re: Ten Tons?

        Who needs the internet when you could sit back and have a Jar

        <-------A Jar for Jar and his hard work :-)

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Ten Tons?

      10 tons is the same as almost a dozen one ton objects

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Ten Tons?

      That's 2.381KiloJubs

      If you can't visualise that, you're beyond help.

    4. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Ten Tons?

      Current estimates put the lower limit on the meteor's mass prior to entering the atmosphere at 7000 ton, or 1666.67 kiloJubs. For a more manageable number, that's about 350 brontosauruses (thin at one end, much much thicker in the middle, and thin again at the other end. Eeechhhum), one Eiffel Tower, or just over one-tenth of the Firth of Forth bridge

    5. Carl

      Re: Ten Tons?

      Its 30 Citroen AXs.

      Or 20 if they've got full fuel tanks.

    6. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Ten Tons?

      Oh, and the explosion as the meteor disintegrated is currently estimated at 700 kiloton TNT, which is 259.26 pepcons, or 2058823 Mythbusters Cement Mixer Trucks (both those units definitely need to be added to El Reg's Unit Converter)

  18. C 18

    Unreal

    Oh please, please, please let this be a publicity stunt for the new Superman movie a la 'War of The Worlds' and that other thing we were talking about that meant people wouldn't believe it when the real zombie attack happened.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    typically for Russia

    people on the street claim that there must have been something else than a space rock - as soon as they were reassured, by all authorities, including Herr Putin, that it was just a space rock, nothing to worry about, go back to your piles of rubble, no, it wasn't a rocket test gone wrong, absolutely not :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: typically for Russia

      But observers on video knew immediately "wtf huge meteorite" etc. Almost as if they had - shock- seen one before and knew what they were looking at.

      Missiles dont generally pile into Earth at bizarre shallow angles at multi-kilometres per second in absolutely "straight and flat* trajectories. There is a reason they are called "ballistic" missiles usually....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    world meme field day :)

    made in Poland:

    http://img201.imageshack.us/img201/5223/47u348.jpg

    (in loose translation: "It fucking hit, so it fucking did, but wtf probe it deeper?"

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/5880761/images/mamy_kaski.jpg

    (no worries, we've got hard hats on)

    but it's hard to say whether this is to portray the Russians, or (optimistic, as always) Poles :)

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon
      Coat

      Re: world meme field day :)

      That reminds me of that famous Russian comedian.

  21. jonfr
    Boffin

    On the seismograph

    There was an magnitude 6.6 earthquake in Russia yesterday. It clearly shows on the seismograph shown in this news. The meteor is the small blip at the 03:00 UTC (GMT) line.

    Details on the magnitude 6.6 earthquake can be found here, http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=304735

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: On the seismograph

      The 6.6. is quite interesting as it's in a region where the plate boundary between the Eurasian and North American plate isn't well understood.

    2. Oscar

      Re: On the seismograph

      Yup that australian has been on the crack .. there was no earthquake around the same time (14 hours earlier)... not to mention that the earthquake in the area he's talking about was really a rather significant distance from where everything is filmed ...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    It's certainly sobering how much damage that meteor did...

    Considering that it shattered 30KM+ up in the atmosphere. I'm glad it didn't actually hit a populated area.

    Keep your eyes on the skies!!

  23. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Nitpicking...

    'Up to 500 people are believed to be injured after a meteorite blazed through the sky'

    That would be a meteor blazing through the sky from which meteorites might have been recovered.

    I now return you to the scheduled iOS versus Apple flamewar.

    1. Oddb0d
      Headmaster

      Re: Nitpicking...

      It's my understanding that a meteoroid describes an object in space, once it enters the atmosphere it is termed a meteor (aka shooting star) and a meteorite describes the object once it lands on earth.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nitpicking...

      iOS vs. Apple, you sure about that? ;)

  24. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    AAAHH MOTHERLAND!

    Russian meteor path plotted in Google Maps

    http://attivissimo.blogspot.com/2013/02/russian-meteor-path-plotted-in-google.html

    1. Mr_Pitiful
      Unhappy

      Re: AAAHH MOTHERLAND!

      Do you realise how much that costs?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: AAAHH MOTHERLAND!

        2 cents?

  25. bearded bear can
    Alien

    Time to mount an offensive against the Arachnids!

    Do you want to know more?

    1. Daniel B.

      Re: Time to mount an offensive against the Arachnids!

      JOIN NOW! SERVICE GUARANTEES CITIZENSHIP!

  26. Donald Becker
    Black Helicopters

    There was a question about why this always seems to happen in Russia.

    It's because of its proximity to polar aperture.

    Grab a globe -- the kind that spins. Look for the part They don't want you do see. Yes. Right there. Under the pivot point, hidden by the brass disk. (If you have an inflatable globe, it's where the air fill hole is.) The north one is the Polar Aperture, where the flying saucers land and come from when they visit the hollow sphere that is earth. Every century or so there is a bad landing and Russia gets hit.

    Of course The Sexiest Man Alive, Kim Jong Un, will claim this is one of his. But you now know the truth.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russians = Potty Mouth

    FYI

    On any of these videos you find of the meteor explosion, every other word that is spoke in Russian is cursing.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Russians = Potty Mouth

      So it's like a movie with Al Pasdcheznous and Robert de Negro?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russians = Potty Mouth

      "On any of these videos you find of the meteor explosion, every other word that is spoke in Russian is cursing."

      Yes, that's how Russians speak.

    3. TeeCee Gold badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Russians = Potty Mouth

      On any of these videos you find of the meteor explosion, every other word that is spoke in Russian is cursing.

      Put yourself in their position. Would you look up and say; "Good grief! There appears to be an enormous meteorite flying overhead.........my, that was a loud noise, wasn't it?" or "FUCK ME! WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? LOOK AT THE FUCKING SIZE OF THAT BASTARD........JESUS H FUCKING CHRIST, THE BLOODY THING JUST BLEW UP!!!111!!!!"

    4. Vic

      Re: Russians = Potty Mouth

      > every other word that is spoke in Russian is cursing.

      Had it all landed in some other country, the only significant difference would be the language used to do the swearing...

      Vic.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Russia is Earth's meteor magnet.

    Comets approach the Sun from any direction but asteroids generally orbit close to the ecliptic plane. Therefore, a goodly number of meteors that collide with earth enter the earth's atmosphere from the ecliptic.

    Meteors enter the earth's atmosphere relatively parallel to the Equator and travel from west to east. Russia has the greatest east/west width on earth. It is 12 contiguous time zones wide.. Meteors traveling over the Northern Hemisphere between the proper latitudes travel over Russia where they have a greater chance of hitting. Countries without a long east/west dimension but of equal square milage do not capture as many meteorites as Russia.

    In essence, Russia owes it's success to the fact it is a very long rectangle with rounded corners.

    http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?bibcode=1957AuJPh..10...77W&db_key=AST&page_ind=0&data_type=GIF&type=SCREEN_VIEW&classic=YES

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Gimp

      Re: Why Russia is Earth's meteor magnet.

      Has Russia licensesed the rounded corners from Apple? I wouldn't want the whole country getting hauled into court over a paten infringement....

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why Russia is Earth's meteor magnet.

      Russia's more of a trapezium*, almost a triangle, since the Earth's a sphere and it extends into the Arctic Circle.

      * Trapezoid, for our American fronds and anenomes

  29. John Deeb
    Boffin

    coincedences

    Wow, don't you hate these type of coincidences? It could indicate nothing or something downright upsetting.

    Perhaps the Russian impact was part of some failed probe aimed at 2012 DA14? Or something jumping off it (in the spirit of hitch-hiking a ride) at a way earlier stage to check out the solar system first? Or we're entering a phase where we will have asteroids and meteorites hitting with greater frequency for some reason.

    So it would be a good idea to investigate the impact of material, analysing samples and so on. And can we get a serious calculation on what the chances are on a random one-day window for a close asteroid fly-by and a sizeable meteorite blowing up in the atmosphere? Are there any numbers out there about these things?

    1. Werner McGoole

      Re: coincedences

      Of course, it might be that they are one and the same object, but they don't like to admit they got the calculations wrong.

  30. Adam 1

    in Soviet Russia ...

    Meteorites crash into. ...

    Crap, I did something wrong there.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone noticed that in the majority of videos, the first thing most people did after the shockwave hit was start laughing?

    Russia - where even the women have balls of steel...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Bother!" said Pooh, as he hadn't ordered the

    Meteorblitzkrieg.

    -AC

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