A woman hit in the spine was flown to moscow on a special plane on saturday morning, according to the civil defense ministry. Twelve adults and three children were treated in hospitals in the chelyabinsk region. 100,000 people were affected by building damage in the most devastating meteorite strike in living memory. In contrast, the asteroid 2012 DA14, which passed by the earth, did not even affect satellites.
In russia, some 24,000 workers continued their efforts to make the windowless buildings winter-proof in temperatures of around minus 20 degrees. In hospitals, for example, people helped themselves with warm foils to seal the windows provisionally. The total damage from the meteorite impact is about one billion rubles (25 million euros), and the trend is upward, yurevich said.
A huge hole appeared in the front of the chelyabinsk speed skating rink, the second floor collapsed and parts of the roof were damaged. The arena, which hosted a world cup the previous year, is to host the 2015 european all-around championships.
According to russian astronomers, the boulder was hurtling through the atmosphere at a speed of about 20 kilometers per second – 72,000 kilometers per hour – heated up into a glowing fireball and burst at a height of 30 to 50 kilometers. The US space agency nasa spoke of 20 kilometers. According to nasa, the impact angle was quite shallow at less than 20 degrees.
Russian divers searched for three hours on saturday in the lake cherbakul about 80 kilometers from chelyabinsk for parts of the meteorite. However, nothing has been found, said the spokeswoman of the civil defense ministry, irina rossius, according to moscow agencies. The lake, popular with ice fishermen, was frozen over. Pictures showed a circular hole in the ice surface, which is said to have been left by the meteorite.
Authorities must be better prepared for such a meteorite impact in the future, civil defense minister vladimir puchkov said. Therefore, after the impact of the meteorite, a new system for a faster reaction is now being worked on. "He was simply too small to be seen by the global observation system," said james gleason of the university of michigan.
According to nasa calculations, the chunk of sky first crossed the orbits of mercury and venus and even came quite close to mars. Only with the earth it collided then. "Several thousand meteors hit the earth every day. But the vast majority fall over oceans and uninhabited areas or are not seen at all in daylight," nasa said. Those in the night were naturally also noticed by the fewest people. "Adding up these factors, there are only a handful of meteors a year that are actually recorded."
The projectile from outer space was not related to the asteroid "2012 DA14", which narrowly missed the earth on friday evening, according to the US space agency nasa.
According to the european space agency esa, no esa satellite or ground stations worldwide were hit by the asteroid. "We haven’t heard of any other effects either, although the asteroid has certainly come close to other satellite orbits," said esa spokesman bernhard von weyhe in darmstadt. "There were also no electromagnetic disturbances during the flyby."According to first esa evaluations the asteroid was about 130 000 tons heavy, had a diameter of about 50 meters and contained coarse parts of metal.
The esa is now hoping for more resources to study and defend against such celestial bodies. "If such a rough chunk was headed straight for earth one day, you had to launch a deflection mission," von weyhe said. "At the moment we don’t see anything like that, but there are a couple of critical candidates in a couple of decades."The comparatively small meteorite that fell over russia showed that "this risk is not zero".