16 February 2013

Meteor over Russia

Obviously this story has been covered pretty much all over the place today, and given that I'm no astronomy expert I don't really have anything new to contribute, but there's also pretty much no way I could let this pass without mentioning it.

I first heard about it this morning, when my friend Tim—an enthusiast of both astronomy and Russia, so this thing was basically made for him—awoke me with a text about it. When I was finally able to drag myself out of bed the first thing I did was check Bad Astronomy to see what Phil Plait had to say on the subject. He was of course right on top of things and his initial post included several amazing videos, including this one showing the contrail of the meteor forming:

And this one in which the shockwave from the sonic boom and/or explosion of the meteor reaches the ground and shatters nearby windows (the wave hits at around 12 seconds and it's loud, so for the sake of your eardrums make sure your volume isn't up too high):

And here's a hole in a lake that may be where one of the fragments made landfall:

The whole thing is stunning, and thanks to the insanity of Russia's roads we have plenty of dashcam footage of it happening. For an expert's analysis of the meteor head over to Bad Astronomy: here's his original post, and here's his follow-up.

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