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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dust cloud from asteroid circled Earth

Scientists with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released details yesterday of the bus-sized asteroid which exploded over Russia last February. Apparently the space rock, which dramatically erupted while airborne, deposited a large cloud of celestial dust into the atmosphere. That cloud, containing finely-ground debris in the hundreds of tons, circled the earth in just four days.

The incident was caused when an 11,000 metric-ton piece of asteroid EO40 entered our atmosphere and exploded 15 miles above the city of Chelyabinsk. The blast, 30 times the magnitude of the Hiroshima nuclear strike of 1945, was heard for miles and shattered windows in the Russian township; it is now considered the most extreme 'near-earth object' event since the infamous Tunguska explosion of 1908.

Some outside of NASA have expressed concerns about what was discovered, not only regarding the volume of debris left behind by such a small object, but the rapidity with which it traveled around the globe. Fears are being raised that a similar incident - with a slightly-larger object - could have untold, cataclysmic global results.

Observation: This incident occurred without any advanced warning; if a larger object were able to do the same, and no official preparations were possible, the effect could be sudden... and disastrous - SB.

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