Friday, February 15, 2013

Could Russian meteor could have been part of asteroid swarm?

(CBS News) It's possible the giant meteor that slammed into Russia Friday morning has something to do with the asteroid -- known as 2012 DA14 -- that's expected to soon fly by Earth, according one expert.

CBS News contributor Michio Kaku, a physics professor at the City University of New York, explained on "CBS This Morning" that, though based on video evidence the European Space Agency has not seen any direct relationship between the house-sized meteorite and the asteroid, "asteroids occur in swarms" so "it's very possible that there's a swarm of asteroids around DA14."

The DA14 -- an asteroid a half a football field across, traveling at a blistering 4.8 miles per second -- is expected to pass within just 17,200 miles of Earth on Friday, a record close encounter that will carry it well inside the orbits of communications satellites.

Faced with questions about the asteroid and safety on Earth, Kaku pointed to the moon's pockmarked look as a sign of what's spinning around in space: "The moon is pockmarked because there are a million objects of that size near the orbit of the planet Earth."

He added, "The Earth is moving in a cosmic shooting gallery."


NASA Scientists have determined the Russia meteor is not related to asteroid 2012 DA14 that paassed safely pass Earth today at a distance of more than 17,000 miles. Early assessments of the Russia meteor indicate it was about one-third the size of 2012 DA14 and traveling in a different direction.

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