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Southern Chelyabinsk Russia Meteorites

on February 15, 2013

A meteor streaked through the skies above Russia’s southern Chelyabinsk region Friday morning, before exploding with a flash and boom that shattered glass in buildings and left hundreds of people hurt.

The explosion was centered about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Satka city, in the Chelyabinsk region, the state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported. About 80 million trees were felled, radiating out from the center of the blast, but no crater was left.

The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, the witness said, and mobile phones were working intermittently. “Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite rain,” an emergency official told RIA-Novosti. “We have information about a blast at 10,000-metre altitude. It is being verified.”

Chelyabinsk city authorities urged people to stay indoors unless they needed to pick up their children from schools and nurseries. They said a blast had been heard at an altitude of 10,000 metres, apparently signalling it occurred when the meteorite entered Earth’s atmosphere.

In 1908 a meteorite is thought to have devastated an area of more than 700 sq miles in Siberia in what became known as the Tunguska event.

meteor window map

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