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Meteor Flyby at Dangerous Distance Near Earth

Meteor Flyby at Dangerous Distance Near Earth

Thursday, 28 November, 2019 - 09:30
An artist’s impression of an asteroid crashing into Earth. Photo: Reuters

A meteorite passed at a dangerous distance near Earth, experts from Russian space organizations said.

While meteors flying by the Earth are seen as a frequent phenomenon, the meteorite, which the Russian experts are talking about, was considered a particular event because it appeared suddenly and was not detected by telescopes. Its trajectory was too close to our planet, which raised fears among many experts that it might fall, similar to the meteorite that crashed in Russia's Chelyabinsk province in 2013.

Alexander Plushchenko, executive director of the Promising Scientific Programs Foundation, said a meteor of the same size of the Chelyabinsk meteorite had passed very close to Earth, without specifying the time.

"The observatory in Russia's Amur province detected the meteor on November 6. It was close to Earth by up to 139,000 kilometers," he said. Its approach raised fears among many experts that it might hit the Earth, especially since the meteorite that fell on the Chelyabinsk district had approached 140 kilometers.

The size of the new meteorite, which passed peacefully, is 10 to 15 meters, the same size of the meteorite that hit the Chelyabinsk region on February 15, 2013. At that time, a very powerful explosion was heard as a result of its friction with the atmosphere on an altitude of 30-50 meters. Hundreds of thousands of people trembled due to the explosion, and windows in hundreds of thousands of houses and buildings in Chelyabinsk and neighboring districts were broken. At the moment of the explosion, the meteor was seen by millions of citizens in the Urals, the North Caucasus, and even in Kazakhstan.

A total of 1,615 people were injured from the flying glass of broken windows, which caused further damage to residential and public buildings and industrial facilities, estimated by the Russian authorities at around one billion rubles.

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