Skip to comments.Asteroid 'Hit Northern Russia'
Posted on 10/05/2002 12:02:00 PM PDT by blam
Asteroid 'hit northern Russia'
A large meteorite is thought to have smashed into a forest in a remote area of Russia.
Residents in the town of Bodaibo, in the Irkutsk region of Siberia, saw a large luminous body fall from the sky.
They say the impact caused the ground to shake and made a sound like thunder.
Flashes of bright light could be seen above the impact site, which was a long way from any settlements according to the Russian newspaper Pravda.
"Locals felt a strong shock, which could be comparable to an earthquake," said the report. "In addition to that, the people also heard a thunder-like sound."
Asteroid expert Dr Benny Peiser, from Liverpool John Moore's University, said: "If the eyewitness accounts are confirmed, this fact of an earth tremor together with thunder-like explosive sounds would indicate a rather significant impact event."
He said the incident occurred on the same day as the US House of Representatives debated the need to search for smaller asteroids and the danger of mistaking impacts for nuclear attacks.
At least 30 times a year, asteroids smash into the Earth's atmosphere and explode with the force of a nuclear bomb.
These smaller asteroids, between 200 and 500 metres wide, could potentially demolish a city with a direct hit or cause tsunamis - giant waves - capable of wiping out entire coastal areas if they land in the ocean.
Astronomers estimate there could be between 900 and 1,300 large asteroids measuring one kilometre or more in our part of the solar system, while the number of smaller bodies could amount to 50,000.
Story filed: 18:25 Friday 4th October 2002
A high-ranking US military official has warned it's possible a stray asteroid could trigger atomic war.
Air Force Brigadier General Simon P. Worden voiced his fears to members of a House Science sub-committee.
General Worden is deputy director for operations of the US Strategic Command.
He said about 30 times a year space rock smashes into the atmosphere and explodes, releasing energy equal to that of an atomic bomb.
He believes there is a chance the explosions could be mistaken for a nuclear attack.
The United States has satellite instruments that determine within a minute if the explosion is a nuclear weapon or a natural explosion from an asteroid.
But General Worden says no other countries have such technology and without it, some could conclude they have come under attack.
He cited an example of an asteroid explosion in August, while Pakistan and India were at full alert over Kashmir.
He said a few weeks before US satellites detected an atmospheric flash over the Mediterranean that indicated "an energy release comparable to the Hiroshima burst.
"The resulting panic in the nuclear-armed and hair-triggered opposing forces could have been the spark that ignited a nuclear horror we have avoided for over a half-century," the general said.
Story filed: 08:38 Friday 4th October 2002
Why can't these damn things ever hit somewhere like Mecca?
Are there any astronomers in our ranks? This stat seems very high.
I would think that if 30 astronds hit with this sort of impact each year that a city would have disappeared by now.
FR needs a spell checker...
They did, where do you think they got the rock they worship?
Actually, it's asteroids.
I actually believe the angel Gabriel was the asteroid.
It just fell a few hundred years early.
Life isn't hard enough there without the sky falling? Those poor people must be scared out of their wits. I hope they don't blame it on GWB, but they probably will. Everything in the world and elsewhere is his fault, doncha know.
Did the asteroid get UN approval?
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