What's really alarming is that the asteroid expected to pass by Earth this afternoon at some mere 17,000 miles away would have hit the Earth if our orbit around the sun was just 15 minutes behind! That's so damned marginal it's scary as all hell. Who's to say that those 15 minutes will be made up on the next fly-by, making it an impact instead some 30 years from now?
Science is to say. Orbits can be calculated very precisely, and there's only one chance in 4.7 million that 2012 DA14 will hit the Earth within the next century.
A friend of mine whose husband is an asteroid expert pointed out on Facebook that close flybys and atmospheric explosions like this happen every single day
-- it's just that most of the explosions are smaller or happen over unpopulated areas, and most of the flybys are by smaller objects that don't get as much advance notice. The coincidence is not that these things happened within a day of each other, since that's actually pretty commonplace; the coincidence is that they both got so much notice.
Seeing this thing hurtling through the sky, flaring up like it did, with visible flames in the middle of the sky(!), then that humungous boom?! I would not blame anyone for wondering if it was an attack or the end of the world.
What startled me was the videos from those dash cams. This huge blinding light is flying overhead, sometimes seeming to head right for the car, and you don't hear the drivers panicking or see them veering off the road or anything -- they just keep driving along normally while the world might be ending in front of them, for all they know. Are Russians really that
That sonic boom was HUGE! I've heard some, mostly when I was younger but also some with the shuttle landing in the desert, and they were never that loud. What causes the volume? Size? Speed?
Reports say it wasn't just a sonic boom; the meteoroid (which has been named KEF-2013, by the way) exploded in the atmosphere