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12 Responses to “What exploded over Russia? Space researchers explore, with infrasound sensors”

  1. kateling says:

    Nice post and good information, but what’s up with the first sentence? The explosion wasn’t “bizarre,” and scientists (I’m one of them) weren’t “dumfounded.” An unusual and exciting event, sure, but just the sort of thing we expect to happen every once in a while. This lead-in seems to imply that there was something weird about the situation, which isn’t at all the case.

  2. Brainspore says:

    I call “drunk driving alien!”

  3. jandrese says:

    My understanding is that we didn’t see this asteroid because it’s smaller than the type of asteroid we typically look for, also it came in from a bad angle.  There wasn’t anything particularly mysterious about it, just surprising.

    • teapot says:


      Plus it’s not even that rare. According to Wiki, megaton-range events happen around every 300 years. The last was the Tunguska-event in 1908 and this one weighed in at only ~.5 megatons.

  4. anansi133 says:

    I have trouble visualizing the problems seeing objects that are closer to the sun than we are. If we stuck a survey telescope in orbit around venus, could it more easily catalog these objects? Would it help any to put the telescope in a trojan orbit around the sun from us?

    And in another track entirely: would there be any way of guessing how much mass we’d accounted for in all our cataloging? Junk in earth orbit, we have a pretty good object count. Solar orbit, not so much.

  5. yragentman says:

    I have been curious – but not curious enough to look into it more deeply – why it is presumed that the Russian event is not associated to the DA14 asteroid just because of the direction it entered the atmosphere.

    Would it be possible for smaller objects to be orbiting the larger asteroid – with elliptical orbits that could intersect earth orbit at any angle/direction as DA14 approached to the close fly-by?

    I just don’t see any reason why the direction of the russian object automatically rules out correlation to DA14 by itself.

    •  Well, it came from the northeast, while DA14 was 230,000 miles south of Earth.  It would be a stretch to figure out how two objects coming at high velocities from opposite directions were originally associated.  I suppose we could go with some kind of “magic bullet” solution.

      • yragentman says:

        “northeast”?   “south of earth”?  what does that mean in space?  If the smaller object was in orbit around DA14, they could easily approach earth from apparently different directions.  draw a picture of DA14 orbit approaching earth, then draw a eccentric ellipse around DA14 and you will see how it could be possible.

  6. WilliamS says:

    Actually, I had aimed it at Pyongyang, but the main thruster cut out early.

  7. Somewhere in North Korea:  Whew!

    • jandrese says:

      That should be:  Somewhere in Seoul:  Whew! 

      If this had detonated over Pyongyang they might have mistaken it for a nuclear attack (in fact it was much more powerful than a nuclear attack) and retaliated with their own nukes, reducing the Nothern part of South Korea to a radioactive wasteland.