Chelyabinsk ‘Was A Pretty Nasty Event’ And Is Spurring Asteroid Action

by Elizabeth Howell on February 24, 2014

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Looking at the power of the Chelyabinsk meteor (which struck a year ago and is visible starting around 1:15 in the video above) is still terrifying all these months later. Happily for those of on Earth worried about these big space rocks, the world’s space agencies are taking the threat seriously and are starting to implement new tracking systems to look out for more threatening space rocks.

“It was a pretty nasty event. Luckily, no one was killed but it just shows the sort of force that these things have,” said Alan Harris, senior scientist of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, in this new European Space Agency video.

An asteroid that is only about 100 meters (328 feet) in diameter, for example, “could actually completely destroy an urban area in the worst case. So those are the things we’re really looking out for and trying to find ways to tackle.”

Check out the video for some examples of how the Europeans are talking about dealing with this problem, including a fun comparison to cosmic billiards and a more serious discussion on how to shove these rocks aside if they were on a collision course with our planet.

For more information on tracking down killer asteroids, check out this past video with Universe Today founder Fraser Cain.

Chelyabinsk fireball recorded by a dashcam from Kamensk-Uralsky north of Chelyabinsk where it was still dawn.

Chelyabinsk fireball recorded by a dashcam from Kamensk-Uralsky north of Chelyabinsk where it was still dawn.

About 

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

Aqua4U February 24, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Yes… Chelyabinsk was definitely a rude ‘wake up’ call. Are there any rockets on the launch pad with a solar powered gravity tractor on top? or collisional interceptor? nuclear tipped? No…? Lazy humans! Sadly, the only real action might happen AFTER we loose a major city somewhere.

SteveZodiac February 24, 2014 at 12:59 PM

My tip is, if we see a big one coming, round up all the bean counters and shoot them quick or we will all die of cost efficiency.

weeasle February 24, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Sadly, anything nuclear tipped is on standby to deal destruction to other humans. Hopefully we humans can change enough in a timely manner to be able to deal with big space rocks possibly incoming in the near future..

philw1776 February 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Action?
Talk is NOT action.

Jeffrey Boerst February 25, 2014 at 3:00 AM

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