Russian meteor hit without warning - Leicester Space Centre experts
Armageddon-type scenes have been captured on video after an 11-ton meteor exploded over Russia injuring hundreds of people.
The space rock boomed through the Earth’s atmosphere at about 33,000mph - three times the speed of a bullet - at about 9.20am (local time) today, before slowing and exploding into smaller pieces.
A shock wave from a huge meteorite was felt by people on the ground as it streaked overhead and crash-landed in a lake in Chebarkul, part of Russia's Chelyabinsk region.
Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies said 524 people have been injured, including 82 children.
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It comes as an asteroid, known as 2012DA14, is expected to come within a whisker of the Earth later this evening - but experts said they are not linking the two.
The 150ft-rock will come within about 17,100 miles of our planet - closer than many communications and weather satellites.
Josh Barker, from the Near Earth Orbit Information Programme, based at the National Space Centre, in Leicester, said the Russian meteor had hit without warning, and confirmed it was not related to 2012DA14.
He said: “It wasn’t detected before it entered our atmosphere, it’s small size makes it difficult to spot and it just goes to highlight how difficult it is to track these rocks in space.
“We’re pretty certain that it isn’t related because of the direction of travel.
“2012DA14 is travelling from south to north and any fragments would probably fall in the southern hemisphere.
“The Russian meteor’s flight path wasn’t consistent with what we would expect if it was related to 2012DA14.”