Meteor clean-up operation

Russian authorities have reportedly sent a 20,000-strong team to the Ural Mountains to help with the rescue and clean-up operation after a meteor struck the area.

Latest ITV News reports

Meteor collision research 'needs more money'

Dr Karl Kruszelnicki from the University of Sydney said not enough money is being spent on researching a researching meteor collision. Speaking on the BBC Radio World Service, he said:

Chillingly we spend more money on making movies about rocks that can hit the earth than we do about looking for the actual rocks.

Dr Kruszelnicki said there were two possible ways to averting a potential meteoric disaster: painting the meteor white, so that the sun exerts more pressure on it, thus pushing past earth, or using a rocket to push it out of the earth's path. He explained:

We send a whole lot of people who normally spend their time painting the whole surface white, over a few years that pressure might nudge it off by a few thousand kilometres over a few years and that would just miss us as opposed to just hitting us.

If we have less time, then we have to think about getting up there with rockets. Pushing the rockets hard against the rock and then firing it and trying to nudge it off with sheer Newtonian mechanics.

Meteor explosion a 'completely abnormal experience'

Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, has described the metoer which exploded in southern Russia on Friday as a "completely abnormal experience".

It made a sonic boom in the atmosphere, and that hit buildings and shattered windows. That is what seems to have caused the injuries.

It's a completely abnormal experience. This thing appeared in the distance, raced over the horizon and was followed up 30 seconds or a minute later by a huge boom as the shockwave hit the ground. I can imagine that would be very frightening.

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Rescue team heads for meteor site

Russian authorities have reportedly sent a 20,000-strong team to the Ural Mountains to help with the rescue and clean-up operation after a meteor struck the area.

The 10-ton meteor, thought to be made of iron, exploded over the Chelyabinsk region in southern Russia yesterday morning.

More than 1,000 people were injured when the meteor, which was travelling at over 54,000mph, streaked through the atmosphere and created a sonic boom.

Hundreds of people were injured when glass shattered in countless windows in the area.

According to Russia's Academy of Sciences, the meteor broke apart 30-50km (20-30 miles) above the Earth's surface, releasing several kilotonnes of energy - the same as a small atomic weapon - the BBC said.

Space rock fell with the power of an atomic bomb

Huge chunks of space rock crashed to earth after a meteor exploded in the skies over Russia, with the power of an atomic bomb.

It was travelling so fast it created a sonic boom that shattered thousands of windows which, in turn, injured more than seven hundred people around the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.

ITV News correspondent Paul Davies reports:

Read: 10 ton meteor leaves hundreds injured.

Read: Asteroid 'near-miss' with Earth.

Russians cried out 'the world is ending' as meteor hit

As a meteor streaked at supersonic speed across the clear skies of Russia, people cried out in panic that the world was ending. Hundreds were injured, as the shockwaves from a huge sonic blast shattered windows and buckled roofs and walls.

Fragments of the exploding meteor fell to earth in central Russia, around the city of Chelyabinsk, a thousand miles east of Moscow.

ITV News correspondent Paul Davies reports:

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Meteor would cause 'significant fatalities' if it hit Earth

A similar-sized meteor to the one that exploded in the sky over Russia would cause "significant fatalities" if it hit Earth.

But the 10-ton meteor was "very small" comparatively and objects of that size rarely penetrate the Earth's atmosphere, according to Hugh Lewis of the University of Southampton.

Experts said the meteor appeared to be unconnected to an asteroid predicted to narrowly miss the Earth tonight.

The asteroid, named 2012 DA14, is big enough to flatten London and could come as close as 17,200 miles.

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