Today a meteor streaked through the skies above Russia’s Urals region and exploded with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left about 1,000 people hurt, Russia state media said. The actual number if people injured is not known at this time. The Interior Ministry said about 1,000 people had been reported hurt so far, including more than 200 children, on state-run RIA Novosti news. Most injuries do not appear to be serious. About 3000 buildings have been damaged, mostly with broken glass.
The object did not cause damage from an impact but the damage occurred from the sonic boom and the object exploding in the atmosphere.
NASA reports on their web site that this is not related to the close approach of 2012 DA14 which will happen today also.
The meteor entered the atmosphere at about 40,000 mph (18 kilometers per second). The impact time was 7:20:26 p.m. PST, or 10:20:26 p.m. EST on Feb. 14 (3:20:26 UTC on Feb. 15), and the energy released by the impact was in the hundreds of kilotons.
Based on the duration of the event, it was a very shallow entry. It was larger than the meteor over Indonesia on Oct. 8, 2009. Measurements are still coming in, and a more precise measure of the energy may be available later. The size of the object before hitting the atmosphere was about 49 feet (15 meters) and had a mass of about 7,000 tons.
The meteor, which was about one-third the diameter of asteroid 2012 DA14, was brighter than the sun. Its trail was visible for about 30 seconds, so it was a grazing impact through the atmosphere.
“According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point. In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north.”