The Russian meteor has people asking why NASA scientists did not see it coming. Many people were watching the oncoming 2012 DA14 asteroid, which passes by this afternoon EST, but completely missed the Russian meteor.
The Russian meteor is estimated to weigh about 10 tons and be about 100 meters wide. Scientists think it was traveling at a velocity of approximately 33,000 mph before shattering between 18 to 32 miles above the Earth, releasing several kilotons of energy which is the equivalent of a small nuclear bomb. As a comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima released 15 kilotons of explosive energy.
According to Fox News, K.T. Ramesh, professor of science and engineering at Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and founding director of Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, says that size matters when detecting incoming space objects:
“This thing is probably pretty small compared to DA14. If you think about objects the size of the one that came into Russia, you’re probably looking at 100 million up there. Of those likely to intersect Earth, there’s less, maybe 100,000. Space is pretty big.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, earlier reports had the Russian meteor hurting around 500 people, mostly from shattering glass. This estimate has now risen to over 1,000 people hurt, including more than 200 children. About 3,000 buildings have sustained damaged from the Russian Meteor.
If asteroid 2012 DA14 were to hit the Earth it would cause much greater devastation:
“DA14 — if that were made of iron, it would get to the ground and cause a significant crater, likely take out a city. Major impact events have the potential to create global catastrophes.”
NASA spokesman Steve Cole told CNN that scientists had determined that the Russian meteor was on a very different trajectory from the asteroid:
“They are completely unrelated objects — it’s a strange coincidence they are happening at the same time. This kind of object does fall fairly frequently, but when they fall into the ocean or desert, there is no impact on people — so this one is unusual in the sense that it’s come over a populated area.”
In short, the good news is Asteroid 2012 DA14 and the Russian Meteor are completely unrelated. The best news is that no country reacted to the Russian meteor as if it was a nuclear attack instead of a natural event:
“My great fear is that you have two countries on the brink of war and something like this happens … and someone reacts to it.”
This fear might have been a possibility if the Russian meteor had instead landed in North Korea, which is currently in a state of emergency ready for war. The rogue nation recently sent a monkey into space and back safely, which indicates their long-rang missiles could reach other continents, and they even tested a working nuclear bomb that shook the Earth.
Are you concerned that scientists might miss another major object like the Russian Meteor?