Feb 152013

An office interior:

[youtube SnAWc415ENk]

A long dashcam video that shows the whole sequence from the meteor passing by (4:36) to the arrival of the boom (7:00). Note cars jump, windows blow out, snow get knocked off roofs.

[youtube gQ6Pa5Pv_io]

A voice of crazy from the past – Vladimir Zhirinovsky – comes forth with claims that the US is responsible for this:

6m-crater found at site of alleged fragment crash


Some numbers are given here:

Over 900 injured after Russian meteorite fall

950 injured; meteor estimated at 10 metric tons, entered at 20 km/sec. This would provided a kinetic energy of 2000000000000 joules… just under half a kiloton. That seems pretty low given that windows were blown out 50 km away…



 Posted by at 8:54 am
  • publiusr

    “-just under half a kiloton. That seems pretty low given that windows were blown out 50 km away…”

    Well, the track was linear, so the energy was evenly spaced out–the overpressure/sonic boom was thus well “distributed” more. A tornado with the power of a nuke doesn’t waste it all in one go–but can laydown devastation for miles. This is closer to Sikhote-Alin than Tunguska, were I to hazard a guess. The shock wave might have knocked over weakened masonry after all.

    Now the experts seem to think this is unrelated to the asteroid that is due for a flyby today. Probably so . But we do know that asteroids collide with each other–Hubble even imaged an event. This means that debris can keep a certain periodicy even if the orbital plane changes, so–if you wind the clock back far enough…who knows? In the same way storm chasers do root for twisters, and NASCAR fans want wrecks, some space advocates were looking for this. Sadly, it ranks below the cruise ship nonsense.

    The most chilling footage is of the dash cam–thankfully popular in Russia–showing the bolide angling in towards the car, as it turns right, capturing almost the whole event. That poor driver must have thought it was heading for him:


  • Anonymous

    NASA has a new estimate of 7,000 tons at 18 km/sec, with a yield in the hundreds of kilotons. Makes much more sense given the vids. NASA estimates this rock at 1/3 the diameter of the grazing asteroid the media have been wetting their pants over lately.


    • Anonymous

      > 7,000 tons at 18 km/sec, with a yield in the hundreds of kilotons.

      7,000,000 kg at 18,000 m/sec gives a kinetic energy of 1134000000000000 joules = 271 kilotons. Respectable!

      • Anonymous

        Certainly matches better with the vids and the on-scene stories. That one dash-cam vid as it starts to enter, slams into the atmosphere, and then blows up will be stuck in my head for a long time. The linked JPL/NASA article says it’s the biggest exo-blast since Tunguska.

  • gormanao

    Boy howdy, do I hate car alarms…

    • philo_t

      The fact that Russians have cars that they need car alarms for raises all sorts of questions…

      • Anonymous

        I’m given to understand that much of Russia is a tad lawless and massively given to spurious lawsuits and insurance fraud. If Russia was *not* that bad, then this event would likely have been very poorly documented. Had the same thing happened over the US, it’s likely that there would be very few decent dashcam vids. A boatload of iPhone photos and vids *after,* but approximately *squat* of the meteor in action.