Yesterday was one for the history books, make no mistake about it. The Russian impact event - NASA states it is the largest impact since the June 30, 1908 Tunguska Event - happens on the same day that asteroid 2012 DA 14 makes its own historic close approach.
I have studied asteroids and meteorites for over four decades and I have never seen anything like yesterday, period. Here are my two appearances on WTTG Fox 5:
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Here is NASA's news release on the Russian inpact event:
Meteorites have been found along the strewnfield of this impact event which will determine the type of impactor involved and because of all the video available scientists will be able to calculate the orbit of as well. This will become a very documented impact event as well as it should for the historic number of people injured.
Space Placers we have been warned.....we need a planetary defense system to protect ourselves against impact events. Because the Russian impactor cam in during daylight optical detection was out of the question. I doubt if we would have the radar capability to have been able to detect it as well - the sky is an awfully big area.
But none the less, the Russian impactor was a 1/3 of the size of 2012 DA 14 and packed a wallop estimated at 300-500 kilotons of TNT - a large nuclear weapon equivalent. If the impactor had been lower and closer at terminal burst (detonation), people could have been killed and the damage to the city much, much worse.
Perhaps world governments will be stirred to action on a cooperative basis to protect the planet. Let's hope so.
Sky Guy in VA