Segments in this Video

Meteor Strike Introduction (02:11)


Scientists investigate a near catastrophic meteorite that crashed in Russia's Ural Mountains and was documented by hundreds of witnesses.

Sponsor Message: Meteor Strike (00:48)

Sponsor Message: Meteor Strike

Siberian Meteor (02:24)

Chelyabinsk residents describe a bright light in the sky in February 2013. Three minutes later, shock waves injured 1,000 people.

Scientific Reaction (01:38)

As Chelyabinsk witnesses uploaded videos, physicists around the world recognized an asteroid had struck Siberia.

Fireball Questions (01:05)

The Chelyabinsk meteor is the largest since 1908. Scientists will use it to learn about potential asteroid threats.

Chelyabinsk Meteor Force (04:53)

Scientists were flooded with media inquiries. Astrophysicist Peter Brown used a nuclear system to monitor infrasound waves and estimate the explosion was 500 kilotons.

Asteroid Belt (02:16)

The Chelyabinsk Meteor hit earth the same day Asteroid DA14 passed close by, a coincidence. Learn how their orbits can be deflected toward earth.

Space Rocks (01:34)

Meteors entering earth's atmosphere appear as shooting stars. Caroline Smith explains how metal content makes meteorites heavy.

Meteorite Qualities (02:43)

Asteroids with high metal content are more likely to reach earth, such as Meteor Crater in Arizona. Learn how the atmosphere heats and alters their chemical composition.

New Meteor Evidence (01:52)

Russia's popular dashboard cameras captured the Chelyabinsk Meteor, allowing scientists to study previously unknown events.

Measuring the Chelyabinsk Meteor (03:04)

Richard Greenwood and Peter Brown use car camera footage to estimate the meteorite's speed, angle, and mass—seven million metric tons.

Chelyabinsk Meteor Hunt (06:03)

Mark Boslough travels to Siberia to record GPS coordinates of video footage. He joins Russian colleagues combing snow for meteorite fragments to analyze for chemical content.

Chelyabinsk Meteorite Analysis (02:16)

U.S. and Russian scientists find fragments are only 10% metal, indicating the asteroid broke apart soon after entering the atmosphere.

Chelyabinsk Shock Waves (01:43)

The meteor's explosion occurred 15 miles up and took three minutes to reach earth's surface.

Chelyabinsk Meteor Trajectory (02:52)

Boslough locates camera footage locations, records GPS coordinates, and uses stars to create a 3D map of the asteroid's pathway.

Chelyabinsk Damage Analysis (03:47)

Scientists calculate the meteor at 10,000 tons and 15 meters in diameter. Boslough models its trajectory; learn how a shallow angle lessened shock wave impact.

Tunguska Meteorite (02:04)

The 1908 asteroid's steep angle and large size caused greater damage compared to the Chelyabinsk event. Learn how it would affect a large city.

Meteor Threat (01:20)

An asteroid made mostly of metal approaching from a steep angle would have destroyed Chelyabinsk. Learn about catastrophic events in geological history.

Chelyabinsk Detection Failure (01:10)

Learn why astronomers couldn't predict the meteorite.

Chelyabinsk Meteor Origin (02:41)

Experts give a step by step analysis of the asteroid's four billion year trajectory ending in Siberia.

Meteor Warning System (04:06)

NASA’s detection technology is limited. Former astronaut Russell Schweickart advocates infrared sensors and an emergency strategy for the next big event.

Credits: Meteor Strike (01:15)

Credits: Meteor Strike

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Meteor Strike

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On February 15th, cameras and cellphones captured a blinding streak that flashed across the sky over Russia’s Ural Mountains, followed by an explosion that injured some 1,500 people. The meteor, weighing around 10,000 tons, was the largest object to burst in the atmosphere since 1908. Within days, NOVA crews were in Russia following impact scientists as they hunted for debris from the explosion and clues to the meteor’s origin. (54 minutes)

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL58700

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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