The Russian Meteor: Someone’s out to get us…
I know it’s been 6 months and all, but people are still really interested in the meteor that exploded over Russia back in February. In this weeks issue of New Scientist, though, I saw why there has been fuss lately. A new study suggests that the fireball was spawned from a 200-metre-wide asteroid that was first spotted in our skies in 2011. It is called 2011 EO40.
Spanish Astrophysicists were analysing fragments of the meteor in Chelyabinsk, and found that it came from the asteroid that has a regular crossing near the Earth in its orbit about our Sun.
Whether the rock was knocked off because of the stress of gravitational pull, or through rough contact with other space debris, is a question that nobody really knows the answer to.
In any case, it looks like we’re going to have to look out for impacts from other nearby rocks.
Very small pieces of the meteor are still selling on ebay for quite a bit of money.
- Russian Meteor May Have Sibling Asteroids That Pose Threat To Earth, Study Suggests (huffingtonpost.com)
- Meteor that crashed in Russia was part of a 656-foot wide asteroid that broke off during its orbit around Earth (dailymail.co.uk)