Russian Space Rock was Much Larger than Initially Thought
Initial estimates of the meteorite that slammed into Chelyabinsk, Russia last week pegged it at about 10 tons. It turns out to have been much larger than that.
The meteor that crashed to earth in Russia was about 55 feet in diameter, weighed around 10,000 tons and was made from a stony material, scientists said, making it the largest such object to hit the Earth in more than a century.
Several landing sites, but no large fragments, have been found yet.
When it exploded due to pressure and friction in the atmosphere, it released about 500 kilotons of explosive energy, about 30 times the size of the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945. So it was a city killer, and had it struck in a more populated area, the devastation would have been enormous. We dodged another massive bullet.
Like I said last week:
According to simulations done by astronomers a few years back, we can expect a Tunguska-scale event about once every 100 years. Some plans are on the board to build early detection systems, but right now Americans have a hard enough time tearing ourselves away from distractions long enough to focus on more immediate national security threats. I'd bet the odds are against us taking this threat seriously enough to fund it.
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