Meteor explodes over Russian Urals

• A meteor or meteors entered the atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk 15th Feb 2013 and exploded in the sky, generating a shock wave that injured an estimated 950 people and damaged buildings. Itar-Nass news agency also reported damage in the nearby town of Cherbakul, where the military said a 20ft (6m) wide crater was found. Chelyabinsk is a city of about 1.1m people situated about 1,100 miles east of Moscow.

Map picture

The unusual event was captured in many videos shot from cars and surveillance cameras. Videos show a blinding brightness, a dazzling object moving with astonishing speed and a long contrail. The Russian Academy of Sciences says the meteor weighed 10000 tons and entered the earth’s atmosphere at a speed of at least 33,000mph (54,000kph) and shattered between 18 and 32 miles above ground.

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The shockwave from the explosion when the meteor entered the earth’s atmosphere smashed windows, buckled shop fronts, set off car alarms and took out mobile phone signals. A wall was damaged at the Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant but there was no environmental threat.

Stony Meteorite

While some 9,000 people have been helping in the clear-up and rescue operation, scientists have been concentrating their search for fragments of the rock around Chebarkul Lake, where a 6m (20ft) wide crater had been found following the strike.

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