The Guardian has a great – and large – collection of videos, photos, and reports from news media and just regular folks on the wild meteor event that occurred in Russia last night. Including this shot, with their caption:
NASA says, based on very preliminary data, the meteor was almost 50 feet in circumfrence:
Based on the duration of the event, it was a very shallow entry. It was larger than the meteor over Indonesia on Oct. 8, 2009. Measurements are still coming in, and a more precise measure of the energy may be available later. The size of the object before hitting the atmosphere was about 49 feet (15 meters) and had a mass of about 7,000 tons.
The meteor, which was about one-third the diameter of asteroid 2012 DA14, was brighter than the sun. Its trail was visible for about 30 seconds, so it was a grazing impact through the atmosphere.
But here’s what we want to note:
A really lot of people naturally assumed that meteor was related to the asteroid mentioned above, which was due to pass quite close to Earth just a few hours after the meteor struck. But, from the Guardian link:
‘NASA has now posted a message saying “the trajectory of the Russian meteor was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object.”’
So let us get this straight: This was a completely unrelated meteor, the size of which hasn’t been seen in ages, that just happened to appear just hours before an enormous asteroid was making one of the closest huge-asteroid passes in ages?!
What are the odds against such a thing occurring? They’ve got to be astronomical!
Editor’s Note: We didn’t say it was a good joke…