**BREAKING** Meteorite strike in Central Russia injures 400
(Reuters) - About 400 people were injured when a meteorite shot across the sky in central Russia on Friday sending fireballs crashing to Earth, smashing windows and setting off car alarms.
Residents on their way to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave, according to a Reuters correspondent in the industrial city 1,500 km (950 miles) east of Moscow.
The meteorite raced across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake which could be seen as far as 200 km (125 miles) away in Yekaterinburg. Car alarms went off, windows shattered and mobile phones worked only intermittently.
Chelyabinsk city authorities said about 400 people sought medical help, mainly for light injuries caused by flying glass.
"I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day," said Viktor Prokofiev, 36, a resident of Yekaterinburg in the Urals Mountains.
"I felt like I was blinded by headlights," he said.
No fatalities were reported but President Vladimir Putin, who was due to host Finance Ministry officials from the Group of 20 nations in Moscow, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev were informed.
A local ministry official said the meteor shower may have been connected with an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool that was due to pass Earth at a distance of 27,520 km (17,100 miles) but this could not be confirmed.
Windows were shattered on Chelyabinsk's central Lenin Street and some of the frames of shop fronts buckled.
A loud noise, resembling an explosion, rang out at around 9.20 a.m. (0520 GMT). The shockwave could be felt in apartment buildings in the industrial city's centre.
"I was standing at a bus stop, seeing off my girlfriend," said Andrei, a local resident who did not give his second name. "Then there was a flash and I saw a trail of smoke across the sky and felt a shockwave that smashed windows."
A wall was damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant but there was no environmental threat, a plant spokeswoman said.
Such incidents are rare. A meteorite is thought to have devastated an area of more than 2,000 sq km (1,250 miles) in Siberia in 1908, smashing windows as far as 200 km (125 miles) from the point of impact.
The Emergencies Ministry described Friday's events as a "meteor shower in the form of fireballs" and said background radiation levels were normal. It urged residents not to panic.
Chelyabinsk city authorities urged people to stay indoors unless they needed to pick up their children from schools and kindergartens. They said a blast had been heard at an altitude of 10,000 meters (32,800 feet), apparently signaling it occurred when the meteorite entered Earth's atmosphere.
The U.S. space agency NASA has said an asteroid known as 2012 DA14, about 46 meters in diameter, would have an encounter with Earth closer than any asteroid since scientists began routinely monitoring them about 15 years ago.
Television, weather and communications satellites fly about 500 miles higher. The moon is 14 times farther away.
No it's not a big deal. Millions of rocks hit Earth every year. Virtually all of them break up, but a few every year make it through the atmosphere. Considering that the Earth is mostly water it is MORE likely that it will hit the ocean.
But saying something is MORE likely does NOT mean the opposite, that hitting Earth is unlikely.
The meteor killed Laura Branigan???
[quote]This is a HUGE fucking deal.
Not really, Lucille Ball was going to strike central Russia in the 70s but Gary Morton talked her out of it.
It's not a "HUGE fucking deal", R7. Sit back down. It's a HUGE fucking coincidence but otherwise an utterly unimportant event.
Yeah, a big deal.
[quote]God is punishing them for their homophobia :p
Then America is doomed.
When did the asteroid pass through the atmosphere? Wasn't that also today? Maybe a piece of it broke off when it hit earth's atmosphere. Or maybe it dragged debris in its wake.
R23, that sounds like a sci-fi movie
Is justice from gods of cosmos, most of injured being surely fat pigs having no respect for selves.
R24, not really.
However, I just checked the times and the asteroid isn't due till 2pm EST.
It will be televised by NASA.
I'm, isn't it suppose to interfere with television?
[quote]This is a HUGE fucking deal. The odds of this occurring independently of that other meteor are astronomical.
So aren't you know it alls who couldn't answer my question about the asteroid's trajectory and where over earth it will be when it passes close to earth a little curious now?
[quote]When did the asteroid pass through the atmosphere?
The asteroid isn't going to pass through our atmosphere at all. It will come closer than some weather satellites, but they're not in the atmosphere either.
I'm noticing a lot of journalists aren't observing the meteoroid/meteor/meteorite distinction we all learned in grade 7.
R29, okay, when's another one come this close before?
"i was driving to work, it was quite dark,"
It's dark at 9:20 am in Russia in mid February?
Perhaps if it is close to the Arctic Circle? However, in all the videos it appeared to be just after sunrise.
Widespread damage and the injury count is near 1000.
I would not want broken windows in my house/apartment in Russia in February, Brrr!
You know it will be a long time until they get replaced because so many were broken.
"Intact windows are all alike. Every shattered window is shattered in its own way."
When I was a kid, we were all playing outside in the early evening when a huge greenish thing with orange streaks went hurtling past us in the sky. None of us made a sound. We all just ran like hell into our houses, totally mute. When my mother asked what was wrong, I stammered "A UFO. A bomb."
It was during the Cold War. We were scared shitless. Either the Russians were invading or the aliens were. We all watched Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and other Cold War scariness.We had lived through the Great Blackout of 1965
It either burned out or made impact up in Canada. I think this was in 1966.
The Russian meteorite was unrelated to the approaching asteroid. Their approach trajectories are completely different. This is, in fact just a coincidence.
I wondered if they were related when I first read about it.
Wonder what exploding meteorites smell like?
I'm told that nuclear bombs smell like vanilla.
The old atomic bombs smelled like mocha frappacino.
First the Pope resigns, the basillica is then quickly struck by lighting twice, a legless athlete mows down his girlfriend for Valentine's day, and the San Bernandino police roast a rampaging, angry black man in a Big Bear cabin while a big rock is heading very close by the earth and then, suddenly, a separate rock shows up screaming across the sky in Siberia scaring everyone and hurting 1000 Siberians. What does this all mean?
Nah, probably that "electric smell" with a hint of bacon frying.
Just another week of human existence.
It's Friday, r42, and we await the Drinkie-poo troll.
R31 - northern latitudes have much shorter days in the winter and much longer says in the summer.
Why does God hate Russians?
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin
Friday - Ruled by Venus (identity: female)/ candle colors: greens, pinks, (blue) pastels / perfect for: lovers and pleasures, affairs of the heart, love, peace, beauty, and healing / scents: Primrose, thyme, or lilac.
Since this happens in the waxing moon cycle this means that doing a ritual today will attract love and pleasures and aid you in bringing your relationship to the next level (on a waning moon it would help you to get rid of an unwanted love or health problems or dial down your lusts and desires).
That kind of extra energy sparks sure will make rituals more potent for those who believe in them.
Maybe they aren't telling us the truth about this astroid?
Injury toll now approaching 1100;
I propose a pool, predicting just how long it will take Rat Robertson to blame this event on the tantrums of an angry, homophobic god with bad aim.
I'm betting on Monday, 02/18/2012.
The Russian military says it shot it out of the sky at 20 kilometers. Unlikely. Putin probably didn't go barechested and punch it either.
How is it possible that this is not in some way connected to 2012 DA14? I can't even rationalize it as "coincidence".
[quote] Big asteroid to pass Earth today – should miss
Nor am I much comforted by a Guardian sub-editor's chosen headline..
The asteroid will pass Earth at about 2:24 Eastern.
Been and gone safely. The Concern Trolls may now stand down.
I may have been a concern troll, but I am relieved rather than disappointed! ;)
Can you imagine living in such an ugly place as Cheylabinsk? Bad enough it's in the Urals/Siberia, but now they're being bombarded with outer space muck? I suppose it's better than Darfur, but jeez.