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Hundreds Injured as Meteors Rain Down on Russia: VIDEOS


Bright objects reported to be meteors captured on dozens of CCTV cameras rained down over central Russia today and more than 500 have been injured by explosions caused by the space objects, Reuters reports:

MeteorPeople heading 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.

A fireball blazed 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 phone networks were interrupted.

Most of the people were injured due to breaking glass, the NYT adds. The Guardian has an F.A.Q.

Watch the insane videos, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. Imagine what a bigger one could do. Just impressive.

    Posted by: SayTheTruth | Feb 15, 2013 5:15:09 PM

  2. @Brian: there's another "explanation" people like Pat Robertson could use: God was targeting gay-friendly Sweden, missed, and hit Russia by accident. Oops. That also implies that God is not infallible. Robertson is possibly OK with that - nobody will notice if they don't think ahead and Robertson can barely think at all!

    But let's give this Deity a break - it's pretty difficult to aim that accurate from half way across the galaxy, all the more so given how long it would take to reach our planet. No wonder the divine smites seem to nearly always miss their targets.

    On a more serious note, hope none of the injuries in Russia were serious ones.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 15, 2013 7:51:19 PM

  3. My guess on the religious nuts. Once they think about it for a while, they'll blame gays for the meteor. They'll claim the Russian government wouldn't have had to pass anti-gay laws if there already wasn't a big problem, and that "God" was mad about all the gay Russians, not the Russian government.

    It's crazy, of course, but the only reason we haven't heard it is that these nuts haven't thought of it yet.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 16, 2013 1:10:43 AM

  4. One technical detail - the Reuters report is almost certainly wrong regarding the claim as quoted by Towleroad that "People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave."

    It turns out that the speed of a shock wave varies with its amplitude (increasing with increased amplitude), and may be larger than the speed of sound in a fluid. The meteor would also have been visible before being heard, although many probably didn't look up until they felt the shock wave. If a meteor had broken up into pieces following roughly the same trajectory, there could be multiple shock waves (even a single object can generate more than one).

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 16, 2013 2:00:40 AM

  5. Russia: All this because you won't allow gays to be gay. Aw, too bad!

    Posted by: JT | Feb 16, 2013 10:49:05 AM

  6. A much bigger one hit Siberia in 1908, just to put things in perspective. Fortunately, that one hit an unpopulated area, but the damage it did was impressive.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 16, 2013 8:40:13 PM

  7. Meteor fragments are worth a buttload - probably more than all the stupid windows that broke. Plus it actually puts a city on the map when before no one had heard of it. So God did them a favor.

    Posted by: @Bill | Feb 17, 2013 2:16:31 AM

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