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View Diary: BREAKING: Meteor airburst over Chelyabinsk (318 comments)

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  •  And this sort of thing happens 30-40 times a year (11+ / 0-)

    And the explosions I am speaking of are MUCH more powerful than today's event - on the 0.5-25 kiloton yield range.

    I did some digging on this back when it looked like a big rock would hit Mars back in 2007

    An event of this yield happened in Russia last decade at Vitim but that was further east and deeper into Siberia.

    Which is good news of a kind: Most of these bursts happen over water or uninhabited land... but someday, one won't be. And on that day it won't be broken windows that catch our attention.

    Taking from my old diary:

    From the survey of early warning satellite data, we are getting estimates of better 0.5 kiloton-yield airbursts happening close to 30-40 times a year based on the 2002 study, ranging (usually) up to one 25 kiloton-yield airburst every year. This is still (usually) insufficient to punch all the way through the Earth's atmosphere. And perhaps (usually) any surviving fragments do not make it all the way down to the surface.

    And most of the time, no one is inconvenienced anyway. It is just those occcasions where a large unexpected explosion happens near well-armed ignorant people who are looking for an excuse to hit something that you have to worry.

    The good news is the world is run by calm, well-educated persons who know not to go off half-cocked.

    Yep. We're perfectly safe, even if the sky does fall about 40 times a year. :)

    •  100's of thousands per day (6+ / 0-)

      There are 100's of thousands of sporadic meteors per day. I use to listen to them on radio waves. Basically you point an antenna at a far distant radio station you can not normally get. When a meteor enters the atmosphere between you and the station, the station comes in clear as day for a up to a second or so.

      Most of the activity is in the morning. In the evening your location is turning away from the meteors and they have to catch up. In the morning your location is turning into the likely path of the meteors. If you have clear dark skies, and or so inclined to get up before dawn, you can see about ten shooting stars per hour.

      It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

      by se portland on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 05:58:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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