Web Site of the Week: Meteor Detection
Here visitors can check in to learn about high quality meteor ionization trail data, and also view visualizations of meteor trails. Last week, everyone was talking about the Russian meteor explosion over the city of Chelyabinsk. The rather dramatic event, involving a meteor that NASA estimates was about 50 feet in length, injured more than 1,000 people. The energy estimate of the explosion was revised upwards to 500 kilotons, which was 30 kilotons higher than initial estimate. Curiously enough, the meteor briefly outshone the sun during the event, which occurred shortly before a much larger meteoroid zoomed by Earth. One intriguing wrinkle to the story is the subsequent “gold rush” that is now taking place in and around Chelyabinsk. Many classified ads appeared on a popular Russian classified ads site, and a number of persons have been hunting around the area looking for pieces of this rare rock. Russian authorities are concerned as they want prospectors to stay away from the area until they have the ability to test the fragments when the snow and ice thaws in the spring. Perhaps there is a strange bright spot in all of this, as local Oleg Karpov noted “Maybe this thing was not that bad after all if a few of us make some money out of it.” [KMG]
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