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'No Link' Between Meteor That Hurt Hundreds And Asteroid About To Fly By
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Fri, 15 Feb 2013 07:00:00 -0500
So, on the day when an asteroid the size of an office building is due to buzz the planet, there's this unsettling news:
"A meteor streaked across the sky above Russia's Ural Mountains on Friday morning, causing sharp explosions and injuring more than 400 people, many of them hurt by broken glass. At least three people were reported hospitalized in serious condition." (The Associated Press)
But scientists at the European Space Agency report on their Twitter page that:
"ESA experts confirm *no* link between #meteor incidents in #Russia & #Asteroid #2012DA14 Earth flyby of tonight #SSA #NEO"
The sounds and sights from Russia, though, may make you want to look up around 2:24 p.m. ET today, when asteroid 2012 DA14 is due to slip by "only" 17,000 miles above us.
"Yelena Smirnykh, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, told Ekho Moskvy radio that she believed the meteorite broke apart and fell in several places. Another government expert, who spoke to Moscow FM radio station, said he believed it may have been a bolide, a type of fireball meteor that explodes in the earth's atmosphere because of its composition or angle of entry and can be observed from the ground."
Update at 8 a.m. ET. Sound:
We've added an audio player above that has a short sound clip from The Associated Press. You can hear the sonic booms, followed by the sounds of breaking glass and car alarms.
As for the asteroid fly-by, since it's around 2:24 p.m. ET the daylight over North America will keep those of us in the U.S. from seeing anything (we all hope). NASA, though, plans to have live commentary on its website and hopes to have "live or near real-time views of the asteroid from observatories in Australia, weather permitting."
Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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