Meteorite pounds Russia

By Chris Carl 2:39pm, February 15, 2013 - Updated 3:13pm, February 15, 2013
A meteor streaked across the sky of Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning. (AP Photo/Nasha gazeta, www.ng.kz)
The meteor that exploded in the sky over Russia today has done a lot of damage, blasting out countless windows in a city in the Ural Mountains.

University of Delaware astronomy professor Dr. John Gizis has been monitoring reports out of Russia.

"Seems it was one single large object which then exploded in the air. The explosion was seen on videotape, amazingly enough, and it seems there are multiple craters and holes in the ice lake to show the fragments that eventually reached the ground," Gizis tells WDEL News.

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Gizis says the meteorite wasn't big....

"Well, it was only about a meter across, so it was basically the size of a small boulder," Gizis says.

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...but it was traveling at 30-thousand miles per hour when it shattered into pieces.

Russian health officials say nearly 1,000 people have sought treatment for injuries, with more than 40 hospitalized.

The meteorite hit on the day as Earth had a close encounter with a a 150-foot asteroid; but Gizis says that's a coincidence.

"The meteor in Russia was traveling in a different direction than the other asteroid this afternoon, so it seems that it's just a very odd coincidence," Gizis says.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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