The main damage in the Chelyabinsk region was associated with the consequence of a meteorite explosion in the sky, the shock wave caused a large number of broken glass and window frames, and in some places caused more serious damage to buildings. In total, 3724 buildings were damaged in the region, of which 671 are educational institutions, 69 cultural objects, 11 socially important institutions, 5 objects of a sports and fitness complex. The total area of the broken glazing exceeded 200 thousand square meters. In this regard, the main emphasis was placed on the restoration of houses, the installation of double-glazed windows. In Chelyabinsk, 1147 people sought medical help, including 200 children, 50 people were hospitalized.
Restoration work in the region is carried out according to a schedule, and on Saturday the 1 / 3 of all broken windows has already been restored. During the week, all the affected glazing will be restored in full, with the exception of a number of stained glass windows in buildings built during the Soviet years, but this process will take no more than 2 weeks, the regional head Mikhail Yurevich told reporters. Also, the governor of the Chelyabinsk region denied that Chelyabinsk, hoping for compensation, broke the glass in their houses themselves. According to Yurevich, the damage from the fall of the meteorite may exceed 1 billion rubles. According to him, only the Ural Lightning Ice Palace was damaged in about 200 million rubles. It is the Ice Palace that is the most affected building, 3 transverse beams and supporting structures were damaged in it.
The fact that the earth has not yet been found fragments of a celestial body, suggests that the unexpected visitor consisted of ice, and not of stone or iron, says Vladislav Leonov of the Institute of Astronomy RAS. According to him, it was a race car: an atmospheric phenomenon that can be observed from the Earth during the invasion of the planet’s atmosphere by a large celestial body. Most likely, this was the cometary core, since only the celestial body of the cometary composition, which belongs to the 1 generation cores, could create impact damage without leaving any traces of the impactor. The fact is that such nuclei are composed of ice, as well as dust particles and volatile compounds, which are completely dispersed after the impact at great speed with a characteristic sound.
NASA experts concluded that the power of the explosion that occurred when a meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere was much greater than previously thought - around 0,5 megatons, which is 30 times more than the amount of energy released during an atomic explosion. bombs that were dropped by the Americans on Hiroshima in 1945. According to NASA experts, events of this magnitude occur quite rarely - about once every 100 years.
The train, which the Chelyabinsk car left behind, stretched for a distance of 480 kilometers. According to Bill Cook, a representative of NASA's meteoroid research department, a celestial object falling on Russian territory could be a fragment that separated from the so-called “asteroid belt” located between Mars and Jupiter, and became a meteor in the atmosphere of our planet. NASA representatives noted that it is extremely difficult to detect such an object in advance. For this, terrestrial telescopes had to be directed "at a fixed time in the right direction."
American experts estimated the size of the Chelyabinsk bolide, according to their estimates, the size of the space body when it entered the atmosphere was about 17 meters, and its mass reached 10 thousand tons. These estimates were made possible thanks to additional information that was obtained from 5 infrasound stations, one of which is located in Alaska at a distance of 6,5 thousands of kilometers from Chelyabinsk. The information received from the observation stations indicates that 32,5 seconds have passed since the moment of entry into the atmosphere to the complete destruction of the car. Experts already say that the Chelyabinsk car is the largest fallen to Earth since the famous fall of the Tunguska meteorite in 1908 year.
According to experts from NASA, a meteorite entered the atmosphere of our planet at a speed of at least 64 thousands of km / h, this is reported on the official website of the North American Space Agency. According to American experts, an explosion of a celestial body occurred at an altitude from 19 to 24 km. At the same time, NASA data on the Chelyabinsk bolide are somewhat different from those previously cited by specialists from the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). According to experts of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the meteorite entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 54 thousand km / h and exploded at an altitude of about 30-50 km.
The Chelyabinsk race car clearly demonstrated the need to protect the Earth from potential space threats - this is where all the experts agree today. Vice Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin has already made a statement about the relevance of combining the efforts of the leading world countries to prevent such incidents in the future. In particular, he recognized Russia and the United States to combine their efforts in the fight against "alien objects."
Prospects for the prevention of similar situations in the future
The specialists of the Russian Ministry of Defense noted the fact that the missile defense and air defense systems did not warn of a meteorite approaching the Earth, since the missile attack warning systems are designed in such a way as to record launches from the earth or water surface. According to the former chief of the Main Staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, Viktor Esin, the military are browsing outer space until they delete the satellite where they are located. After the meteorite entered the earth’s atmosphere, the military could detect it only if the celestial body was not so small in the air.
According to Oleg Malkov, a leading researcher at the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, an object dangerous for the Earth was missed due to the fact that very little attention is currently being paid to the study of small celestial bodies. In order to warn the inhabitants of cities about the fall of a meteorite in advance, it is necessary to deploy a whole network of specialized telescopes that would automatically search for such celestial bodies. At the same time, Malkov noted that these telescopes are in the USA today, but even they could not detect a meteorite falling on Chelyabinsk. Experts believe that the meteorite approached the Earth from the sun, and therefore it was almost impossible to see it from the surface of the Earth.
Faina Rubleva, director of the Moscow Planetarium, told reporters that scientists can observe such objects only at night, while his fall happened in the morning. According to the head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry Vladimir Puchkov, at present scientists have not yet created such equipment that would allow tracking small celestial bodies that move at speeds up to 8 km / sec. At the same time, Puchkov stressed that, taking into account the meteorite rain that has passed over the Urals, work will be started in Russia to improve the detection systems as well as the rapid response in the event of similar situations in the future.
In turn, Igor Korotchenko, who is the chief editor of the magazine National Defense, in an interview with the radio station Voice of Russia expressed skepticism about the development of systems for the possible interception of meteorites. According to him, at the modern technical level, for about the next seven decades, or maybe one hundred, we will not have the means to intercept such objects. This means that humanity is defenseless in the face of a cosmic threat. These are the realities of today. At the present level of its development, humanity and the scientific and technological progress it has achieved are not able to develop reliable means of detecting and intercepting asteroids that would pose a threat to our planet.
To solve this problem requires the concentration of all scientific potential, as well as synergy, the addition of existing potentials, since the threat is really real. It is worth noting that last year 2 Russian high-ranking officials spoke about this. The first to speak about the asteroid threat is Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin. For the first time, he started talking about her while still being the representative of Russia to NATO, when he suggested instead of creating a European missile defense system to do more real things in terms of the security of the entire planet. The second Russian official who spoke about the asteroid threat is Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council. Speaking last year in St. Petersburg to his colleagues, Security Council Secretaries of the leading countries of the world, he said that this threat is relevant. Then both statements were confronted with a jerk like “what do we predict and what do we do”? In fact, it turns out that both officials were right.
Russia was still lucky that the meteorite was not so big and burned when it entered the atmosphere of our planet. But to imagine the consequences in case of a repetition of the Tunguska meteorite today is very easy. The same evening - February 15 –The Earth crossed with a large asteroid with a diameter of about 45 meters, which flew at the closest observation time - at an altitude of 27 thousands of kilometers, below orbits of geostationary satellites (altitude in 35-40 thousands of kilometers). If such a celestial body collided with the Earth, the consequences would be catastrophic and comparable to the fall of the Tunguska meteorite. Currently, scientists discovered the asteroid Apophis, which has a diameter of about 325 meters. The threat of the Earth’s collision with it is absent, but if this happened, the energy of the explosion would correspond to the undermining of all the nuclear weaponsthat would lead to a planetary catastrophe.
In general, it can be noted that both Chelyabinsk and Russia, and the entire planet, were lucky this time. As the saying goes well that ends well and this is exactly the case. News about Chelyabinsk bolide immediately became the main global news, thanks to which many foreigners generally learned about the existence of Chelyabinsk. The fact that it happened on Friday and was without casualties quickly enough made this event the subject of jokes and Internet memes, blowing up the blogosphere. And the fact that everything happened precisely over Chelyabinsk, which was previously considered to be a rather “harsh” city in Russia, only contributed to the emergence of new jokes about this. It is worth noting that the events that took place once again demonstrated the possibility of the Russian people even laugh at serious enough things and take everything with irony, and this is even more important than some hypothetical anti-asteroid defense, which you may not be able to deploy with our life.