First Chelyabinsk in Russia, then Cuba followed closely by San Francisco. Earth has had several largish meteors brighten up our skies recently. Several near misses have had astronomers talking about the possibility of Earth being struck. The United States Congress has raised the issue (decades late) of some method of early warning and protection from the potentially devastating impact of a celestial object on the Earth, but that has faded from the front pages of the news papers.
So as a gentle reminder:
From RT News
Stunning video: Fire ball explodes, lights up Spanish skies
Published on Apr 15, 2013
Video courtesy: J.M. Madiedo – University of Huelva
A brilliant ball of flame streaked across the sky above the , Spanish capital Madrid, dazzling stargazers and astronomers alike. The celestial display was so bright it could be seen across the entire country. The eye-popping moment was caught on camera by the Hita Observatory at the University of Huelva at around 11:45pm local time (21:45 GMT). The object struck the atmosphere above the Villamuelas district in the province of Toledo, southwest of Madrid.
The explosion on impact was so bright that it could be viewed as far away as the southern Spanish cities of Seville, Granada and Murcia.
“I was looking up at the sky when there was a flash that in a matter of seconds began to grow,” astronomer Leonor Ana Hernandez said to the Huffington Post. “When the explosion happened, everything around us turned white for a few seconds,” and several green and blue followed the initial explosion, she added.
The explosion as the fireball entered the atmosphere sparked comparisons with the 500-kiloton explosion caused by the meteorite that fell over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February.
Although the meteorite measured only a few meters in diameter, scientists estimated that the initial explosion was comparable in power to a nuclear bomb.
Earth is constantly showered with rock and dust from space. On any given day, the estimates are that Earth intercepts about 19,000 meteorites weighing over 3.5 ounces acquiring about 100 tons of dust-sized micro- meteoroids. But to see this many objects large enough to create these explosions is enough to get your attention.
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