Author Topic: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia  (Read 136438 times)

Offline Silmfeanor

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #180 on: 02/15/2013 09:37 PM »
I agree with the preceding posts - this is a very damaging event, but we can and should be glad it isn't worse. So far no deaths reported. I hope the shock of this opens up some money for spaceflight in general, be it telescopes, satellites or full-blown interception missions.

It could have been much worse. Imagine what would have happened if this was above New York - just imagine the consequences. Don't want to wait for something like that to happen - better cough up some money by this event, which can be regarded as some sort of wake-up call, being the most damaging meteorite event in recorded history of mankind...

Offline rdale

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #181 on: 02/15/2013 10:02 PM »
What would you cough up money for? Can these rocks be detected, let alone protected, for any amount of money that would be just a slice of the current Homeland Security budget? When it comes to a hazard vulnerability analysis, this incident does nothing to move meteor attacks up the list.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #182 on: 02/15/2013 10:10 PM »
My Tweet to B612, and the only thing I'll post here,
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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #183 on: 02/15/2013 10:12 PM »
What would you cough up money for? Can these rocks be detected, let alone protected, for any amount of money that would be just a slice of the current Homeland Security budget? When it comes to a hazard vulnerability analysis, this incident does nothing to move meteor attacks up the list.
Yes, they can. Scale up aperture, pick the right wavelength, pick the right orbit.how much money do you got? And you really want to compare this to the likes of the TSA?
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Offline JimO

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #184 on: 02/15/2013 10:13 PM »
Quite a contrail, too.  Must have been a lot of water and other volatiles, perhaps a small comet?

I don't think the trail was particulates from the object, but atmospheric disruption from the plasma wave. Both normal and [sadly] abnormal orbiter entries at that altitude created similar persistent trails, as I saw with my own eyes over Texas.

Offline JimO

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #185 on: 02/15/2013 10:16 PM »
I agree with the preceding posts - this is a very damaging event, but we can and should be glad it isn't worse. So far no deaths reported. ...

It is prudent to make this point: "SO FAR". Considering the force of the blast in a city at some distance from the sub-blast point, it's too soon to tell what transpired in more rural areas that suffered greater blast and thermal loads.

It's not like you can text out -- 'Everybody who's dead, raise your hand."

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #186 on: 02/15/2013 10:26 PM »
Also, some seismic data.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/monitoring/operations/station.php?network=IU&station=MAKZ#heliplot

I've been digging around in earthquake.usgs.gov and find that the event produced seismic signals as far away as Iowa, perhaps not surprisingly.  There was also a fairly widespread signal about ten minutes before the initial one from Chelyabinsk that was detected strongly in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and McMurdo Sound. I suspect this was a coincidentally timed earthquake, but mention it FWIW>

Edit: Attach zipped file of seismograms from various places around the globe. Again FWIW.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2013 12:05 AM by ChileVerde »
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Offline fatjohn1408

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #187 on: 02/15/2013 10:46 PM »
Could it be that this was once a companion of 2012 DA14 but then grazed the atmosphere of the Earth slightly, which altered it's orbit?

Offline Nittany Lion

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #188 on: 02/15/2013 11:07 PM »
What would you cough up money for? Can these rocks be detected, let alone protected, for any amount of money that would be just a slice of the current Homeland Security budget? When it comes to a hazard vulnerability analysis, this incident does nothing to move meteor attacks up the list.

Agreed.

Going from 95% of 1 km and 5% of 140 meter (the current survey status according to Blackstar) to 100% of 15 meter sounds like a colossal effort. Add to that some sort of deflection capability and youíre probably talking $500 billion.

The observed frequency of need is one zero-fatality air burst per century, and one extinction event per 65 million years.

Wouldnít it be better to spend the money developing the capability to deflect hurricanes and tornadoes? Lotta people gonna think that way.


Online jcm

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #189 on: 02/15/2013 11:10 PM »
There is some efforts that are being made. See this link (the survey of NEAs larger than 1 km is not yet completed from what I understand):


The requirement was for 90%. They are at 95%. They are for all intents and purposes complete. You can never get to 100%.

There is a requirement for searching for 140 meter NEOs. That's nowhere near done (I think they're at no more than 5%). See the report I linked to earlier for more details.

Frankly, NASA doesn't want to do this, and nobody really wants to do this. A few members of Congress slipped some language into bills many years ago requiring NASA to do it, but nobody provided any extra money for them to do it. That's why it's largely not getting done. Simply put, the people who run the country do not think that this is an important issue, or even a minor issue, and never have.

They are not 95% complete for things inside 1AU, that you only get to see in the daytime - and things with 1AU aphelia could still hit us
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Offline sanman

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #190 on: 02/15/2013 11:24 PM »

Offline mlindner

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #191 on: 02/15/2013 11:30 PM »
USA Today says "a force of 20 Hiroshima bombs"

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/02/15/russia-meteorite/1921991/



Yes thats correct they stated between 300 - 500 kT explosion. Hiroshima was 16 kT. So its 19 - 31 Hiroshima bombs.

I also have to say that image is hilarious. I burst out laughing. My dad loved it as well considering he grew up watching those at the movies.

Edit: Reading the article, its full of inaccuracies and contradictions of information I've seen elsewhere. Falling meteorite debris did not break windows in 3000 buildings...
« Last Edit: 02/15/2013 11:46 PM by mlindner »
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Offline Dalhousie

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #192 on: 02/15/2013 11:31 PM »
Frankly, NASA doesn't want to do this, and nobody really wants to do this. A few members of Congress slipped some language into bills many years ago requiring NASA to do it, but nobody provided any extra money for them to do it. That's why it's largely not getting done. Simply put, the people who run the country do not think that this is an important issue, or even a minor issue, and never have.

And they never will until a substantial number of people are killed.  Much the same happened with the Indian Ocean tsunami network.  Everyone knew it could happen. that sooner or later it would happen, the skills and knowledge was there, but nothing was done. As for as asteroids go the killer could happen tomorrow or in a thousand years time.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2013 02:45 AM by Dalhousie »
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #193 on: 02/16/2013 12:07 AM »

I've been digging around in earthquake.usgs.gov and find that the event produced seismic signals as far away as Iowa, perhaps not surprisingly.  There was also a fairly widespread signal about ten minutes before the initial one from Chelyabinsk that was detected strongly in New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii and McMurdo Sound. I suspect this was a coincidentally timed earthquake, but mention it FWIW>


I am out of my depth here, but I vaguely recall from earth science class that earthquakes generate two types of waves that travel at different speeds.  S and P I think. My point being that makes sense that one wave, the P(?) would arrive before the S wave.

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Offline AJW

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #194 on: 02/16/2013 12:11 AM »
Reports that the flash from meteor attracted attention to the event and as a result, many witnesses were watching the contrail through windows.  The shock wave then hit causing the windows to blow in causing the large number of injuries from glass fragments.

About 15 years ago there was a nighttime KSC shuttle landing and the de-orbit was over California.  My son and I watched the plasma glow stretch across the horizon and as the glow began to fade I carried him back inside to bed.  As we passed a closet, the door shook with sudden ferocity. My assumption was that this was the shock wave from the shuttle, but this was a single shake, not the twin booms reported at the landing sites.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #195 on: 02/16/2013 12:19 AM »

I am out of my depth here, but I vaguely recall from earth science class that earthquakes generate two types of waves that travel at different speeds.  S and P I think. My point being that makes sense that one wave, the P(?) would arrive before the S wave.

Yes, compression waves, shear waves and a rich variety of other kinds of waves of lesser importance. (Tensor waves!) Wikipedia has an OK summary.

While we're on this, looking at the collection of seismograms, I think I see a little blip on many of them at 03:13 - 03:16 UTC, the time of the Chelyabinsk entry.  If that's real and connected with the entry, I have no idea what might have caused it.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #196 on: 02/16/2013 12:22 AM »
There's also never (during the space age) been such a pertinent, documented case of why it is important, and probably has never been such public attention to the topic, either.

Gazing into the crystal ball, I can see Congress throwing some more money at the search effort. When we did our NEO study a few years ago the committee generally believed that the amount of money spent on doing the surveys should be increased a bit. Because NASA was then spending $4.5 million on the subject, "a bit" could be increasing it to $10 million annually.

But here's some of the issues:

-in order to substantially improve the surveys for these objects you have to spend A LOT more money. Essentially, you have to build a space-based telescope. No matter what B612 says, that's a half billion dollar investment.

-compare the costs, and the risks, to other events that kill lots of people. If you go back only one decade I bet that you can easily determine that over 800,000 people worldwide were killed by seismic events (250,000 in Haiti alone). Earthquakes represent real dangers to human life.

-where should that $500+ million be spent for maximum effect? Should it be spent on things like asteroids, which are very rare, or should it be spent on things that are much more common?

But I'd hate to see a knee-jerk political reaction to throw cash at this without carefully balancing the issues.

Offline Antares

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #197 on: 02/16/2013 12:43 AM »
FWIW, re: Cuba hypothesis, I used a great circle calculator for Chelyabinsk to Havana.  The course is 250.17, which is similar to the course of the meteor trail captured on satellite images.  I think we'd need more data to increase confidence that the rocks came from the same meteor source.
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Offline ChileVerde

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #198 on: 02/16/2013 12:55 AM »

-compare the costs, and the risks, to other events that kill lots of people. If you go back only one decade I bet that you can easily determine that over 800,000 people worldwide were killed by seismic events (250,000 in Haiti alone). Earthquakes represent real dangers to human life.

-where should that $500+ million be spent for maximum effect? Should it be spent on things like asteroids, which are very rare, or should it be spent on things that are much more common?

Well, yes, but the question of what 0.5 $G buys in either case arises.

I.e., suppose that amount of money buys a pretty complete assessment of asteroid risk that can be followed up with more $$ on prevention/ mitigation.

You then have to figure out how the same amount of money can be spent on earthquake risk assessment and prevention/mitigation.

In the case of earthquakes, we probably aren't going to prevent them any time soon, so does the 0.5 $G go into earthquake resistant construction in Haiti, Iran and other quaky places? And how much of the population gets protected for that amount of money?
« Last Edit: 02/16/2013 12:57 AM by ChileVerde »
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Online Lee Jay

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Re: Meteor Strikes Chelyabinsk, Russia
« Reply #199 on: 02/16/2013 01:01 AM »
-in order to substantially improve the surveys for these objects you have to spend A LOT more money. Essentially, you have to build a space-based telescope. No matter what B612 says, that's a half billion dollar investment.

Could Kepler be re-purposed for this sort of work after it's primary mission is complete?

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