Originally published 02/15/2013
David Austin Walsh
The Internet is ablaze today* over astounding pictures and video from Chelyabinsk†, a mid-sized city in Russia's Ural Mountains about a hundred miles from the border with Kazakhstan, which show what appears to be a flaming meteorite streaking across the sky before exploding at high altitude (for the latest updates on this story, check out Phil Plait's Bad Astronomy blog over at Slate). The brilliance of the object as it moved across the sky rivaled the sun, and the shock wave from the explosion below out windows in the city below, causing over 1,000 injuries.This video shows the course of the fireball across the sky:Another video, taken from a car dashboard cam:And this video, shot a few moments later, features at the 27-second mark the massive shock wave that broke thousands of windows across the region:
Originally published 02/15/2013
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A strike from a big asteroid more than 300 million years ago left a huge impact zone buried in Australia and changed the face of the earth, researchers said on Friday."The dust and greenhouse gases released from the crater, the seismic shock and the initial fireball would have incinerated large parts of the earth," said Andrew Glikson, a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.The asteroid was bigger than 10 km (6 miles) in diameter, while the impact zone itself was larger than 200 km (120 miles) - the third largest impact zone in the world....
Originally published 01/31/2013
Jan. 30, 2013 — Rebutting a speculative hypothesis that comet explosions changed Earth's climate sufficiently to end the Clovis culture in North America about 13,000 years ago, Sandia lead author Mark Boslough and researchers from 14 academic institutions assert that other explanations must be found for the apparent disappearance."There's no plausible mechanism to get airbursts over an entire continent," said Boslough, a physicist. "For this and other reasons, we conclude that the impact hypothesis is, unfortunately, bogus."In a December 2012 American Geophysical Union monograph, first available in January, the researchers point out that no appropriately sized impact craters from that time period have been discovered, nor have any unambiguously "shocked" materials been found....
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