On Friday, February 15, 2013 very few people were giving attention to 2012 DA14, an approaching asteroid, until a meteor caused injuries and massive damage in Russia. As the news of the meteor strike hit the news media, people began to take notice. Concerns were raised that what was happening was like the beginning of the movie Armageddon where a meteor shower bombarded New York City before a killer asteroid was discovered.
DA 14 passed safety around 17,000 miles from the earth that afternoon EST. However, later that night a fireball was seen over Northern California. Cuba reported that it had been hit by a meteor on Tuesday.
In the classic H. G. Wells’ novel War of the Worlds, the first paragraph states
No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.
There are those among us who believe an invasion or the end of the world has begun. To them the meteors are heralds, perhaps like the 3 angels of chapter 14 of The Revelation, the last book of the Christian canon or the prophetic words of a man who many believe was a time traveller.
Whatever, you may think or believe about events of this week, we live on a planet traversing the cosmos. In our travels we will encounter objects hurling through space and time.
Calls for the USA, Russia and China to work on a space defense strategy are good recommendations. Better recommendations would be for these three countries to join together to eradicate illiteracy, poverty, human rights violations, especially against women and children, and to clean up the environment and create an education system for the world’s children.
No one knows when a space E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event) will occur. There is evidence on Earth and Mars that this has happened in the past.
So, as you go about your daily lives, do what you can to make this a better place for all. Life is fragile, and there is no doubt what the future holds if we continue on the same pathways of human ignorance, war and greed. These pathways are just as fatal as an E.L.E.
G. D. Williams © 2013
The shock wave blew in an estimated 100,000 square meters (more than 1 million square feet) of glass, according to city officials, who said 3,000 buildings in Chelyabinsk were damaged. At a zinc factory, part of the roof collapsed.
The Interior Ministry said about 1,100 people sought medical care after the shock wave and 48 were hospitalized. Most of the injuries were caused by flying glass, officials said.
NASA said the Russian fireball was the largest reported since 1908, when a meteor hit Tunguska, Siberia, and flattened an estimated 80 million trees. Chelyabinsk is about 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) west of Tunguska. The Tunguska blast, attributed to a comet or asteroid fragment, is generally estimated to have been about 10 megatons.
The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the super sonic impact.
The Russian Academy of Sciences is estimating the meteor weighed about 10 tons.
The academy said in a statement hours fall that the meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph) and shattered about 30-50 kilometres (18-32 miles) above ground.
The meteorite flew across the Russian sky from the direction of Kazakhstan, its trajectory going over southern Siberia, above the Tyumen, Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions, said the head of the Urals regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry press service, Vadim Grebennikov.
The 55 foot wide rock, said by NASA to have a mass of 10,000 tonnes, lit up the sky above the Urals region on Friday morning, causing shockwaves that injured 1,200 people and damaged thousands of homes in an event unprecedented in modern times.
Nasa estimated that the energy released as the meteors disintegrated in the atmosphere was 500 kilotons, around 30 times the size of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the operation to help some 1,200 people who were injured, including 200 children, mostly by shattered glass.
The shockwave damaged an estimated 200,000 sq m (50 acres) of windows.
Russian officials put the cost of the damage at about 1bn roubles ($33m)
The European Space Agency reported Friday that there is no connection between the meteor that hit Russia and the huge 165-ft. diameter asteroid known as DA14, which is due to pass within 17,000 miles of Earth – less distance than satellites in geosynchronous orbit – within the next day or so.
“It did a lot of damage, but what do you expect?” asks Nikolai Zheleznov, an expert with the Institute of Applied Astronomy in St. Petersburg. “A meteorite is a large projectile, like a bomb, that enters the atmosphere at high speed. Imagine the kinetic energy in a rock 30 ft. across. When it comes roaring into the atmosphere, the air density is like a solid wall that it slams into. Kinetic energy turns to heat, and then there is percussion….
“We live in a solar system that’s full of asteroids and meteorites. There’s no avoiding them. Thousands of tons of meteorites fall onto the Earth every year, far more than we can even keep track of. So, try not to worry too much.”
Fireballs Cuba and California
In Cuba on Tuesday, residents reported seeing a bright light in the sky and a loud explosion that shook windows and walls, although there were no reports of any injuries or damage.
One resident of the city of Rodas, near Cienfuegos, described the light as “bigger than the sun”. He said: “On Tuesday we left home to fish around five in the afternoon, and around 8:00 we saw a light in the heavens and then a big ball of fire, bigger than the sun.”
A sudden fireball was spotted blazing across the Northern California sky less than 24 hours after the explosive meteor that passed over Russia injured more than 1,000 people on Friday.
The fireball, reportedly seen from as far north as Fairfield to as far south as Gilroy, as well as in Sacramento, Newark and Walnut Creek, was captured on video by one observer at around 7.45pm last night.
It was bluish in color and appeared to be heading straight to the ground, according to an NBC Bay Area reporter.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2279630/Fireball-blazes-Northern-California-horizon-day-massive-meteor-strike-injures-1-000-people-Russia.html#ixzz2L6Kq8HM4