The meteor that shattered Friday over the Ural Mountains was estimated to be 20 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. It blew out thousands of
windows and left more than 1,000 people injured in Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million.
Yet no one saw it coming; it was about the size of a bus.
There is no connection between the Russian meteor and the asteroid that brushed passed Earth on Friday, said David Dundee, an astronomer with the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville.
“They came from different directions,” Dundee said.
And besides, asteroids can be detected pretty easily.
The DA14 asteroid “came and went” on Friday, Dundee said. It passed harmlessly within 17,150 miles of Earth, zooming by at 17,400 mph, or 5 miles per second.
NASA said the Russian fireball was the largest reported since 1908, when a meteor hit Tunguska, Siberia, and flattened an estimated 80 million trees. Chelyabinsk is about 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) west of Tunguska.
The Tunguska blast, attributed to a comet or asteroid fragment, is generally estimated to have been about 10 megatons.
Scientists believe that a far larger meteorite strike on what today is Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula may have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago.
According to that theory, the impact would have thrown up vast amounts of dust that blanketed the sky for decades and altered the climate on Earth.
Meteors have caught many by surprise, including a family in Cartersville a few years ago, Dundee said.
That meteorite, which tore through a roof and landed in the home, is on display at Tellus.
If you are worried about what you would do if a meteorite should strike your home, you shouldn’t worry about if you are covered, according to State Farm Insurance Co. officials.
Space debris is covered under falling objects and is covered under the company’s standard homeowner policies, according to a news release from the company.
If you have comprehensive auto coverage, your vehicle would also be covered, according to the news release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.