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Space Friday, February 15th 2013 at 9:18 am

Russian Meteor Aftermath: What We Know So Far

Stories are still coming in from the affected region, but we’re keeping up as best we can with this quickly developing story, and we’ll be updating all right here all day. To the burning question on most folks’ minds, no, it doesn’t appear the meteor that wreaked havoc in Russia earlier today had any connection to Asteroid DA14, which is due to make its closest pass of Earth later this afternoon. That’s according to the European Space Agency. More details below as we get them.

This zinc plant got about the worst of the impact blast, which collapsed it’s entire roof.

It looks like the meteorite that survived landed in a lake near the town of Chebarkul. Early reports have the area near where it fell being closed off now by military personell.

The number of people injured in the blast now sits at 950, though most injuries seem fairly minor and no casualties have been reported yet.

Estimates of the size of the meteor are varying widely at this time. Many news outlets are reporting a figure around 10-tons, while Russia’s RT news service is quoting a figure of 50-tons. RT is also reporting that a spokesperson for Russian space agency Roscosmos said that neither they nor colleagues at NASA or ESA were monitoring the meteor prior to its trip into the atmosphere.

“Our ground facilities and, as I understand, those abroad too did not the monitor this celestial body,”

Meanwhile, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports a Roscosmos estimate that the meteor was travelling 30 kilometers per second, or just over 67,000 miles per hour, when it entered the atmosphere. According to RIA Novosti, the breakup of the meteor on entry sent pieces of debris flying as far off as neighboring nation Kazakhstan.

UPDATE: NASA confirms that the flyby of 2012 DA14 has no relation to this morning’s meteorite strike in Russia.

Scientists say Russian meteorite unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14: on very different paths. DA14 misses us today. go.nasa.gov/Y5Zsoe

— NASA (@NASA) February 15, 2013

(via RT, RIA Novosti)

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