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Christmas Gift Guide

Meteorite trail

Damaged shop

Vladimir Putin

Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov

Puchkov in Chelyabinsk

Many kilotons of energy

Tourist draw?

Shock-wave damage

Fractured factory

The meteorite's trail

The path to impact

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.

Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Marat Ametvaleev/NASA
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
The facade of a local Chelyabins shop damaged by a shock wave from a meteor.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
Another view of the wall of a local zinc plant damaged by a shock wave from a meteor in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
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.
Caption by / Photo by Getty Images
A diagram showing the meteorite's path over Russia and nearby countries.
Caption by / Photo by NASA/JPL
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