Early Friday morning, a streaking meteor illuminated the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia. Seconds later, meteorite debris pummeled the city, injuring over 900 people. A shcokwave from the meteor's higher altitude explosions also cracked as it reached the ground and shattered glass windows.
Below are a few videos of the incident as compiled by redditors "Therecanonlybetwo" and "hattmarington," respectively. The first video shows the meteor streaking across the sky from the view of a dashcam. The second video captured the booming shockwave's arrival on ground level and the subsequent damage.
Space.com reports that NASA officials have ruled out any association between this meteor and the much larger asteroid flyby happening today. According to the official, the meteor was likely a bolide — an especially intense fireball. Fireballs are typically defined as an object in the sky that's brighter than any of the solar system's planets as viewed from Earth.
These amazing videos are striking reminders of the power of meteors — even ones that seem relatively small. Scientists have estimated that the Russian meteor was likely only a few meters wide when it entered the atmosphere. When these meteors pick up speed, however, they pack a huge amount of energy.
In 1908, for instance, a meteor fell over a remote area in Siberia, downing massive amounts of trees. Researchers estimate that the meteor responsible for the Tunguska Event was roughly 100 meters across and never hit the ground fully intact. Nonetheless, the impact likely had about 1,000 times more energy than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.