A meteor fell in Russia’s Ural Mountains today and injured over 1,000 people.
The Russian Academy of Sciences released a statement estimating the meteor to weigh about 10 tons, have traveled at over 33,000 miles per hour upon entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and have exploded into pieces at 18-32 miles above the ground.
Because meteors travel faster than the speed of sound, they usually cause sonic booms upon entering the atmosphere. The sonic boom this meteor produced was enough to break many windows in Russia. Most of the injuries people sustained were from flying glass fragments, as many people were attracted to windows to observe the flash of light the meteor produced.
No reports of people being directly hit by meteorites or of deaths have been made.
Asteroid 2012 DA14 is set to make its closest pass to the Earth tomorrow, but the European Space Agency found no connection between the meteor and the expected pass.
A 26-foot-wide crater was made in a reservoir outside of Chebarkul, Russia from the falling meteor. About 3,000 buildings were damaged. Over 1 million square feet of glass was shattered.
Residents whose windows were shattered will have to contend with four below zero temperature conditions overnight.
Vladimir Chuprov of Greenpeace Russia told the Associated Press that the meteor struck ground just 60 miles from Russia’s Mayak nuclear storage and disposal facility.
The meteor falling in Russia was described by Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, as being a rare and historic event.