Posted on February 15, 2013by 

Published: 15 February, 2013, 23:10
Edited: 16 February, 2013, 05:40

A Russian policeman works near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013 (Reuters / Chelyabinsk region Interior Ministry)

A Russian policeman works near an ice hole, said by the Interior Ministry department for Chelyabinsk region to be the point of impact of a meteor seen earlier in the Urals region, at lake Chebarkul some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Chelyabinsk February 15, 2013 (Reuters / Chelyabinsk region Interior Ministry)

Russian scientists investigating the meteorite explosion in the Urals explained the nature of the event that caused havoc in the region. NASA meanwhile said that the shockwave from the blast was equivalent to a 300-kiloton explosion.

The object was identified as a solitary 10-ton bolide by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN). Bolides, or bright fireballs, are large meteors that explode in the lower atmosphere, and unlike meteorite showers they can be dangerous, scientists explained.

The Chelyabinsk fireball entered the atmosphere moving at a speed of about 20 km/s. The object, which was several meters in diameter, then burst into pieces at a height of 30-50 km above the ground, RAN reported.

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