CHELYABINSK RUSSIA CHEBARKUL METIORITE (CHONDRITE LL5)
(Detailed information on falling and meteorite structure)
The object exploded in an air burst over Chelyabinsk Oblast at a height of about 15 to 25 km (9.3 to 16 mi), with 23.3 km (14.5 mi) being the most recent official burst height. It exploded with the generation of a bright flash, small fragmentary meteorites and a powerful shock wave. The atmosphere absorbed most of the object's energy, with a total kinetic energy before atmospheric impact equivalent to ~ 440 kilotons of TNT (~ 1.8 PJ), 20–30 times more energy than was released from the atomic bombs detonated at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The object did not release all of its energy at once, with the total radiated energy of the fireball, which generated the main explosion, estimated to have emitted an energy equivalent to 90 kilotons of TNT(~ 0.4 PJ), according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
About 1,500 people were injured, two seriously. All of the injuries were due to indirect effects rather than the meteor itself, mainly from broken glass from windows that were blown in when the shock wave arrived, which came minutes after the superbolide's flash. Initially some 4,300 buildings, rising to over 7,200 such structures in six cities across the region were reported to have been damaged by the explosion. ... read more