Space reporter: Meteor in Russia is classic meteor fall

To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.

February 15, 2013, 11:53 am
SHARE THIS POST
Print Article



(NECN) – Unbelievable video shows a meteor streaking through the sky over Russia early Friday morning. It led to a meteorite slamming into a community about 900 miles east of Moscow, injuring hundreds and causing the roof of a factory to collapse.

Joining us by phone is J. Kelly Beatty. He's a veteran space reporter and senior contributing editor of Sky and Telescope Magazine.

What about this incident stands out to him the most?

Beatty says it’s a classic meteor fall. He says there was a very similar incident in 1947, also over Russia as it turns out. Beatty says when the object comes into the atmosphere and is big enough to get down low but not big enough to hit the ground, they break apart, they explode in the atmosphere creating a lot of shrapnel that falls onto the ground.

Does this have anything to do with the approaching asteroid?

Beatty says none whatsoever. He says they are coming in different directions, for one thing, and this is just a freak cosmic coincidence. Beatty says they don’t know anything yet about the composition of the meteorite that fell in Russia, but they don’t see anything at all that would connect the two.

This asteroid is coming closer than many satellites. Could this damage them or affect our communications on Earth?

No and no, Beatty says. He says there’s no indication it will hit any satellites. He says space is a pretty big place and it would be an incredibly rare possibility for that to happen. Beatty says it won’t affect Earth in any way; it will just be a great show.

So what about meteoroid versus meteor versus meteorite?

An object in space is a meteoroid. As it goes through the atmosphere it’s a meteor. And when it goes to the ground, it’s a meteorite. So one object can be all three things.

Tags: meteorite, Earth, asteroid, space reporter, sky and telescope magazine, j. kelly beatty
RELATED STORIES
COMMENTS
We may have 6 inches of snow in Maine, at the same time the temperature warms to 70 degrees in Massachusetts.
North Adams, MA, has lost wireless phone and internet in heavy rain and wind this Sunday morning.
Rain, wind, and snow.. again
Franklin County Sherrif's corporal, neighbor took action after seeing female trapped in frigid water
Much of the state is in a flood watch, with sections in a flood warning
It's a total lunar eclipse that will begin around 2am Tuesday, April 15
Kevin Edson taken into custody near Boston Marathon finish line; backpack containing rice cooker found
Incident happened on King Caesar Rd. in Duxbury, Mass.
Lawyers for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev say many of the charges against him are redundant