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.