Scientist: Meteorite and asteroid on same day a coincidence - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Scientist: Meteorite and asteroid on same day a coincidence

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

On the same day an asteroid is supposed to pass over the Earth, a meteorite hit Russia, causing a massive blast.

There are reports that about 400 people have been hurt, mostly by falling glass. At least three people have been sent to the hospital. The Emergency Ministry says fragments of the meteorite fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region.

Bright objects and plumes of smoke were seen in the sky for more than 125 miles. It is believed the plumes were caused by the meteorite. The falling object created a large shockwave, shattering windows throughout the region and even causing damage to building structures.  

Meanwhile, it's a bit unsettling that all of this happened on the same day as an asteroid is scheduled to have a close encounter with Earth Friday.

The asteroid, which is called 2012 DA14, will pass within a little over 17,000 miles of the Earth's surface. That is closer than the communication satellites that will be broadcasting the news of its arrival.

The asteroid is approximately 150 feet in diameter and has a mass estimated at about 143, 000 tons. Scientist say the asteroid is moving at 33,000 mph.

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