More than 400 people were injured in Russia due to the sonic boom caused by a meteor a leading scientist has said.
Tim O’Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries in the Chelyabinsk region were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom.
This reasonably large chunk of rock was moving faster than the speed of sound, maybe 20,000 miles per hour. 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 shock wave hit the ground. I can imagine that would be very frightening
Mr O'Brien 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.
– Tim O’Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory
We don't think the asteroid is associated with the meteor in Russia
It looks like they were moving in different directions and weren't on the same orbit.