Today’s exploding meteor in central Russia has nothing to do with this afternoon’s asteroid flyby. Tarik Malik with Space.com says the meteor blew apart as it streaked through the Earth’s atmosphere. The shockwave from the meteor smashed windows and injured more than 700 people. Later, a huge asteroid is expected to speed near the Earth, but astronomers say it won’t hit. Here’s today’s streaking meteor over Russia:
Below is a video that purports to be the impact of that meteor – but undoubtedly a fake.
And now, just The Facts about today’s asteroid:
Today, an asteroid that’s about half the size of a football field will pass by the Earth at a distance of only 17-thousand miles, which is the closest approach ever for an object of its size. Here are some more facts about asteroids.
FACT: The Earth is struck by asteroids as big as 13-feet in diameter approximately once a year.
FACT: While asteroids as much as 23-feet in diameter enter the Earth’s atmosphere approximately every five years, they typically explode and are vaporized well before they come close to the Earth’s surface.
FACT: An asteroid with an estimated diameter between 147 and 230 feet is believed to have exploded over Russia in June 1908.
FACT: In the past ten years, six asteroids have made significantly close approaches to the Earth, including two in 2004 and two in 2011.