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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Reged: 06/18/08

Loc: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Meteorite hits Russia, people injured new [Re: rdandrea]
      #5687093 - 02/18/13 03:00 PM

Very bright fireballs/bolides are usually stony or iron bits of asteroidal debris, all on their 'lonesome', so to speak. They can enter the atmosphere at any angle, and occur randomly.

Meteor showers (or storms when very active) are mostly bits of dust scattered along the orbits of comets which we happen to intersect. A shower can last from hours to weeks, depending on how widely the cometary debris has spread. All related meteors if a particular shower appear to come from the same point on the sky.

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Tony Flanders

Reged: 05/18/06

Loc: Cambridge, MA, USA
Re: Meteorite hits Russia, people injured new [Re: Saclablue]
      #5688342 - 02/19/13 05:24 AM


Even if there was an asteroid or meteor was going to strike the earth. They would never tell us, think of the civil chaos that would ensue.

That is demonstrably untrue. In all of history, there has been precisely one meteroid that was detected in space and subsequently struck Earth: 2008 TC3. And the discovery was indeed announced immediately.

As time goes on and the surveys become more sensitive, this will surely happen more often.

Neither the Sudan meteoroid nor the one that exploded over the Urals was big enough to cause regional damage, much less planet-scale damage. It's believed that all or almost all planet-threatening asteroids are already known and tracked.

Comets are a different matter.

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