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Cosmic Collision: Meteor Strike

Strangers in the night of outer space did more than make a simple cosmic glance. On Valentines Day at 10: 20 p.m. a fireball hit the earth at the Chelyabinsk region of Russia with enough energy of 300 kilotons of TNT. Chelyabinsk is about 1,500 kilometres east of Moscow

The explosion damaged hundreds of buildings and injured about 1000 people. The 15 meter diameter object is estimated to weigh 7,000 tons and entered the atmosphere at about 40,0000 miles per hour. This was the largest blast since the 1908 Tunguska event that wiped out forests in Russia.

Ah those poor Russians - it's just one more good reason for living in Oakville. 

The event happened just hours before Asteroid DI4 glazed our planet by 27,200 kilometres on February 15 at 2:24 p.m. - that’s closer than some orbiting communication satellites. The near earth encounter was seen in the southern hemisphere and was larger than the fireball that hit Russia yesterday. D14 weighs about 140,000 tons and is 45 meters in diameter - that’s about the size of a condo development on the lake in Bronte.

NASA predicts that an asteroid this size comes close to the Earth once every 40 years and hits our planets every 1,200 years. If an asteroid this size hit the earth, it would cause sever destruction on a local scale. Say goodbye to your Porsche.

This would still be small in comparisons to the asteroid that hit the Earth 65 million years ago to cause the extinction of the dinosaurs. That asteroid was 10 kilometres in diameter. However, there’s no need to fear falling rocks in Oakville. NASA has identified more than 9,600 near Earth objects and says that we aren’t in danger of being hit by an asteroid this size in the foreseeable future.