Today, Feb. 15, 2013, the asteroid, designated as 2012 DA14 will pass by about 17,200 miles above the Earth at about 2:25pm EST.. The asteroid is estimated to be about 170 feet in diameter which makes it about the same size as the one that created Meteor Crater in Arizona 50,000 years ago and about the same size as the one that hit the Tunguska area of Siberia, on June 30, 1908. The Tunguska explosion knocked an estimated 80 million trees down over an area covering 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi). It is estimated that the shock wave from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale.
Yesterday, objects speculated to be meteorites, possibly fragments of asteroid 2012 DA14 hit an area of Russia. “A series of explosions in the skies of Russia’s Urals region, reportedly caused by a meteor shower, has sparked panic in three major cities. Witnesses said that houses shuddered, windows were blown out and cell-phones stopped working. A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.” This meteor actually hit and destroyed a building.
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“The meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons and just 2 meters across — entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 33,000 mph and shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.”