Surprise! Meteor Whizzes By Same Day Asteroid is Due

By Keith Kloor | February 15, 2013 5:43 am

What appears to be a meteor trail over eastern Russian is seen in this image released Feb. 15, 2013, by the Russian Emergency Ministry. The meteor fall included a massive blast, according to Russian reports.

Well, nothing like an unexpected meteor shower to spice up the day. By now, many have seen the incredible pictures and video from Russia. (Phil Plait at Slate has many good links.) As CNN reminds us, this

comes on the same day that a hefty asteroid is due to charge past the Earth at a pretty close range, in space terms.

Chances are the meteor flyby is just a “cosmic coincidence,” as Oliver Morton of The Economist said on Twitter. Still, I’m with Tom Chivers:

I bet the doomsday prepper forums will be crackling today.

UPDATE: Excellent explainer on the space rock that burned up over Russia.

UPDATE: I took out “shower” from the headline, based on advice from smarter people than I.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: meteor, select, space
MORE ABOUT: meteor, space
  • Jason Peter Green

    It’s the North Koreans. They were aiming at the US.

    • Al Hennington

      could be right about that

  • mem_somerville

    What a great collection of data for people to examine. The videos are stunning.

  • Tom Scharf

    Yes, a temperature increase of 0.8C over a century is definitely what we should be worried about leading to the end of days. We have our priorities straight.

  • jh

    What are the chances of having an asteroid flyby and a meteorite impact one day appart? OMG – the same as having two major weather events in the SAME YEAR!

    Asteroid flybys and meteorite impacts HAVE INCREASED DRAMATICALLY IN THE LAST TWO DAYS! If they keep increasing at this rate, THE PLANET WILL BECOME A FIREBALL BY LATE MARCH!

    (climate reasoning applied to asteroid impacts)

    • JeffN

      as you can clearly see in the graph below meteorites strike during downturns in Monsanto’s stock price. If we simply require a market-based “Floor and Trade” to ensure Monsanto stock price never drops, we can prevent meteor strikes in the future, according to this model (airplane glue I’m sniffing). Do it for the children!

  • Tom Scharf

    Well this should make everyone feel nice and safe and sound, right?

    Q: What do we do if we spot something big heading for Earth?

    A: A recently formed working group of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space would be called into session.

  • Kuze81

    “The Only Thing That Can Stop This Asteroid is Your Liberal Arts Degree.”

    • mem_somerville

      Heh. I expected to get pummeled for tweeting that.


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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