Big bang over Russia and a near miss in outer space - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Big bang over Russia and a near miss in outer space

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

More than 1,100 people were reportedly injured after a meteorite crashed in the Ural Mountains in central Russia on Friday.

"Debris has been spotted about 50 miles from Chelyabinsk," according to College of Southern Nevada (CSN) astronomer Dr. Dale Etheridge.

"They found a 20-foot diameter hole in the ice," he added.

The sonic boom caused by the meteorite shattered windows and caused some building walls and roofs to collapse in the town.

Also on astronomers' radar, or in this case telescopes, was 2012 DA-14, an asteroid about half the size of a football field. On Friday morning the asteroid passed within 17,000 miles from Earth, traveling at the speed of about eight to nine miles-per-second, according to Etheridge.

The CSN astronomer admitted he was more fascinated by the meteorite than the asteroid.

"It's always good to get actual space debris to be able to analyze and study it," Etheridge said.

As for whether the two celestial events are related?

"Probably not. There is a remote possibility that they are sort of co-travelers, but the direction and velocity of the meteorite suggests it probably was not related but was just a random chance that the two occurred at the same time," said Etheridge.

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