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February 18, 2013

Meteor Falls Out of Sky in Russia

Watch Meteor Explosion of Atomic Strength Injures 1,000 in Russia on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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In an incident that seems like it was taken straight from a sci-fi movie, a 10-ton meteor fell over Russia, injuring over 1,000 people.

The meteor came crashing towards earth at a rate of nearly 20 miles per second. This triggered a fireball, which then caused the meteor to explode approximately 30 miles above the earth.

Some pieces of the meteor fell on the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, home to about 1 million people and located about 1,000 miles west of Moscow. The debris fragments smashed windows and triggered shockwaves that caused many to evacuate their offices and schools.

Most of those injured in the incident were cut by flying glass, and Russian authorities say there is no lasting danger.


“I was awakened by this loud bang, crash and shaking in my apartment that, you know, literally shook me out of bed. I kind of gathered myself and then I looked out the window and I saw this giant streak across the sky that was the tail of the meteor,” – Michael Garnett, Professional Hockey Player.

Warm Up Questions

1. What is a meteor? What is an asteroid?

2. How often do objects from space fall to earth?

3. How much of our planet is covered by water? How much by land? How much of the planet is covered by land where people live?

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