Friday, 15 February 2013

Kaboom: Best footage of Russian Meteorite and links to space objects. Update: Chunk found.

This 30 second clip from the Guardian is the best footage so far of the Valentine's day meteorite near Chelyabinsk in Russia.  It's the largest hit ever recorded live.,

Our neighbourhood: Feb 15 2013
Click to enlarge
It's been captured on cell phones, dash cameras and security cameras.  15 m in diameter, it's roughly thirty times less massive than the meteor expected to whizz by earth later today. Today's space rock 2012 DA14 at 50 m. will pass between us and our highest orbit satellites.  The name tells you it has been tracked since the year 2012, one of some ten thousand being watched now. This little rock in Russia hadn't been noticed, too small to worry about, and yet there are reports of over 1000 people hurt in the shock wave blast.  The Guardian science column has lots of photos and informed comment.

Our space rock neighbourhood.  This is updated daily. See image to right.
And zoomed in to our immediate neighbourhood, another daily update.

A summary of the WISE asteroid inventory with a map: Most of the 1 km and bigger asteroids are known (the ones big enough to wipe out the dinosaurs).  About a quarter of the over 100 m asteroids are being tracked now.

Twenty three years from now in 2036, asteroid Apophis, one of the big ones, has a slight chance of whacking us.

An earth map of meteorite strikes in recent history where the fragments or the crater were preserved:
A zoomable link from the Guardian.
Dots where scientists have found meteorites or impact craters from meteorites, using data from the US Meteorological Survey.

There are also about 40,000 tons of space dust falling to earth every year.  That's a large swimming pool's worth every month.

And lastly, the Chinese got a video camera within two miles of tumbling Toutatis,  a meteor a couple of miles across that passed a mere 4.5 million miles from our home a couple months ago. (Imperial/Metric:  I generally leave the units imperial or metric as I find them.)

UPDATE: Divers recovered a 1000 lb chunk of meteor from the bottom of Lake Chebarkul and scientists have traced the meteor back to it's mother, a dark asteroid that's still out there but not heading for us.
UPDATE: Scientists report on the trackback and identify a 540 meter chunk out there as part of the same original meteor. This chunk(Itokawa) was sampled by a Japanese space ship and some was brought back to earth in 2010.

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