The sky is falling

A meteor blew up yesterday about 25 miles in the air above a small Russian city about 1,000 miles east of Moscow.  The AP article said it was traveling at supersonic speeds.  I'll say!  About 50 times the speed of sound, from the estimates.  It may have been a few meters wide and weighed in the neighborhood of 11 tons.

I always forget how the terms work:  It's a meteoroid if it's a fairly small piece of junk in orbit, a meteor when it's in Earth's atmosphere burning up, and a meteorite if part of it makes it to the surface.  This one may have produced a few fragments on the surface, but mostly the impact took the form of a shock wave that collapsed part of a factory roof.  Five hundred people were injured, 34 of them seriously enough to go to the hospital.  That's a lot for a meteor.

1 comment:

Grim said...

In fairness, Russian construction may be as much to blame as the meteor. Let us all recall the song.