You’ve seen it a hundred times in countless sci-fi movies: an object from space comes hurtling towards Earth leaving a trail of thick smoke behind it as curious onlookers turn their heads to the sky, mouths agape. Only this time, it’s real.
Over 500 people were injured in Chelyabinsk, Russia last night when a meteor came blazing into the atmosphere, exploded and sent fireballs raining down as citizens caught all the action on camera.
At 9:20am local time, a large explosion rocked the Central Russia town with the shockwave setting off car alarms and shattering glass. Russia’s space agency Roscosmos confirmed it was a meteorite traveling at approximately 19 miles per second. Some officials there were speculating that this meteorite broke off an asteroid the size of an Olympic swimming pool passing by Earth.
The resulting meteorites (after the explosion in Russia’s skies) scattered across the local region, perhaps even as far as Kazakhstan. It’s too early to know if the meteor brought with it aliens, critters, triffids or blobs.
NASA spokesman Steve Cole told CNN:
This kind of object does fall fairly frequently, but when they fall into the ocean or desert, there is no impact on people — so this one is unusual in the sense that it’s come over a populated area.
Luckily most of the injuries reported were not serious and there are no reported fatalities yet. And perhaps even luckier that it didn’t fall in a more populated area like Moscow, New York City or Los Angeles.
You can watch some of the amateur video of the meteor falling from the sky below, each providing a different glimpse of the arrival and the deafening explosion.