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Russian meteor was brighter than the sun, more powerful than a nuke

Feb 18, 2013

Russian scientists and NASA released new details this weekend about the Russian meteor that exploded over the Ural mountains early Friday morning. As the injury count rises over 1,000 and the number of buildings damaged to 3,000, scientists are learning that the blast was absolutely massive—the biggest meteor event on earth since the Tunguska incident of 1908, also in Russia.

The meteor was 55 feet wide, weighed weighed 10,000 tons, traveled into the atmosphere at 19 miles per second, and exploded in a fireball miles above the earth’s surface, sending smaller meteorite fragments to earth that damaged buildings. Scientists say that the explosion released about 500 kilotons of energy, 30 times the power of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II, and that the flash of light when it exploded was temporarily brighter than the sun.

Divers are currently trying to recover pieces of the meteorite, some of which are believed to have fallen into a nearby lake, though none of them have been found yet.

In other space news, Astronaut Chris Hadfield did the first Reddit AMA while in orbit around the Earth. Click here to read the thread.

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