Imagine the situation had the Chelyabinsk meteor fallen to earth two months earlier? It would’ve caused panic and chaos while doomsday preppers scramble into their underground bunkers or arks. Lucky for us, nature decided to be considerate enough to just scare the wits out of just a couple of thousands instead of 7 billion people. When a large meteor zoomed past Russian air space and landed in a frozen lake in Chelyabinsk on 15 February 2013, many who witnessed the event thought the world had finally come to an end (or the Chinese were attacking them). The meteor appeared to be a fireball in the sky which came with several sonic booms that shattered windows all around as it hit earth. To date, about 1100 Russians suffered injuries — mostly from the effects of shattered glass windows.
Funny thing is that everyone is waiting and watching out for the flyby of Asteroid 2012DA14 in a couple of hours when the meteor hit Russia. Some speculated the meteor strike was related to the passing of 2012DA14, but NASA confirms these two events are unrelated — even explaining that the path of these space debris are actually moving in different directions. A team of divers is currently retrieving the Chelyabinsk meteor at the bottom of frozen Lake Cherbakul. We will probably know more about this wayward meteor once they get their hands on it.
This got us thinking though. Can we actually anticipate a catastrophic meteor from obliterating Earth? Scientists claim that if it’s big enough to wipe life off the face of the Earth, they would have time to see it and do something before it does. The Chelyabinsk meteor is actually too small for them to take notice and most of asteroids or meteors of this size disintegrate into smaller pieces once it hits the atmosphere. Unfortunately for over 1000 Russians, this one didn’t break too much like most do.
So, 2 meteors in a span of more than 24 hours showing their face to us . . .coincidence or a sign? I’d like to think of it as the universe with a sense of humor. But a lot of Russians did not think it was funny. And I’m pretty sure it will be less amusing if another one comes along soon . . .
Here is a good video of this famous Russian meteor.