It happens once in several decades – fireball over Urals

This morning in Russia, at 9:23 Moscow time (05:23 UT) 15th February, the flyby of several meteorites has been detected. These were, most likely, the remnants of a fireball which exploded at an altitude of 40-50 km after entering the Earth atmosphere with a velocity of 10 km/s. It was roughly ten meters in size and roughly ten tons of weight. The explosion shock wave struck the Russian city of Chelyabinsk about two minutes after the explosion and led to minor damages to the city infrastructure – some windows were broken, some pieces of roofs were turn off, a couple of building walls collapsed. About one thousand of city residents needed medical assistance.

It has been suggested that this phenomenon is related to the previously registered and approach to Earth of asteroid 2012-DA14, but the NASA specialists (and others) disclaim it.

The explosion over Russia once again reminds humanity that Cosmos may threaten their tranquillity, well-being or even survival. Thus, of great importance is the development of methods for the continuous monitoring of the Earth neighborhoods, and of systems that may prevent the atmospheric impact of large cosmic bodies.

Asteroid 2012-DA14 observations

asteroid-earthOn Friday 15th Feb. 2013, GLORIA will use some of its telescopes and additional wide-field cameras to observe asteroid 2012-DA14 during its closest approach to Earth. Near real-time imagery of the asteroid’s flyby and commentary will be streamed live at starting at 19.00 UT (20.00 CET). We will be posting images of this event, from the various instruments, to our special 2012-DA14 Flickr group. We invite everyone to join the group and share their own images from all over the world.
The list of sites and instruments involved is here.

GLORIA will observe asteroid 2012-DA14

The near-Earth asteroid 2012-DA14 will pass very close to Earth on February 15, 2013. Some GLORIA telescopes will track its path through the stars with live webcast coverage. A photo album will be available to collect pictures by all astronomy fans. More information on this site soon.