X

Taking stock in aftermath of once-in-century meteor impact (pictures)

A new NASA estimate finds that the meteor that crashed into Russia's Urals last month had been crossing the Earth's orbit for thousands of years.

Charles_Cooper.jpg
Charles_Cooper.jpg

Charles Cooper

See full bio

put9.jpg
1 of 11 Getty Images

Meteorite trail

On February 15, residents of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk witnessed what scientists say was the most powerful asteroid to hit the Earth in the last 100 years. According to scientists at NASA, the amount of energy released was about 30 times the amount generated by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.

In this image, a meteorite trail is seen above a residential apartment block in Chelyabinsk. A heavy meteor shower rained down on central Russia, sowing panic as the hurtling space debris smashed windows and injured dozens of stunned locals, officials said. According to a new NASA estimate, the meteor had likely been crossing the Earth's orbit for thousands of years.

put4.jpg
2 of 11 Getty Images

Damaged shop

People stand in front of the facade of a local shop that was damaged by a shockwave from a meteor in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk. Hundreds of people were injured, the biggest known human toll from a space rock, according to scientists.
putin.jpg
3 of 11 Getty Images

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with G20 states finance ministers in the Kremlin on February 15, 2013. The unpredicted meteor strike in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk resulted in hundreds of people injured, leaving some Russian officials calling for the creation of a global system of defense against space objects.
put2.jpg
4 of 11 Getty Images

Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov

Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov attends a meeting with journalists in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013, after he inspected the damage caused by a shockwave from a meteor.
put3.jpg
5 of 11 Getty Images

Puchkov in Chelyabinsk

Accompanied by officials and journalists, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov (in red) visits a local sport center in Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013, as he inspects the damage caused by a shockwave from a meteor.
Screen_Shot_2013-03-05_at_3.42.59_PM.png
6 of 11 Marat Ametvaleev/NASA

Many kilotons of energy

This picture of the meteor and its persistent trail was taken by photographer Marat Ametvaleev. An estimated 500 kilotons of energy was released by the explosion of the 17-meter-wide space rock, which had a mass of 7,000 to 10,000 tons.
put6.jpg
7 of 11 Getty Images

Tourist draw?

A view of the wall of a local zinc plant that was damaged by a shock wave from a meteor in Chelyabinsk. As the city recovers, tourist companies are starting to sell group tours to Chelyabinsk at $800 a person.
put5.jpg
8 of 11 Getty Images

Shock-wave damage

The facade of a local Chelyabins shop damaged by a shock wave from a meteor.
put7.jpg
9 of 11 Getty Images

Fractured factory

Another view of the wall of a local zinc plant damaged by a shock wave from a meteor in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.
put8.jpg
10 of 11 Getty Images

The meteorite's trail

A man in Moscow looks at a computer screen displaying a picture reportedly taken in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk on February 15, 2013, showing the trail of a meteorite above a residential area of the city.
Screen_Shot_2013-03-05_at_3.39.15_PM.png
11 of 11 NASA/JPL

The path to impact

A diagram showing the meteorite's path over Russia and nearby countries.

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

94 Photos
2023 Honda CR-V Is Coming This Summer

More Galleries

2023 Honda CR-V Is Coming This Summer

4 Photos
'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Acura Integra Is a New Age Sport Compact

More Galleries

2023 Acura Integra Is a New Age Sport Compact

56 Photos
Maserati MC20 Cielo Is a Gorgeous Italian Spyder

More Galleries

Maserati MC20 Cielo Is a Gorgeous Italian Spyder

70 Photos