Chelyabinsk (February 15, 2013)
Traveling at 40,000mph when it entered Earth’s atmosphere, this asteroid was captured on video as it streaked over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The 60 foot wide, 11,000-ton space rock exploded 14 miles above Earth’s surface. Fragments were discovered 50 miles north at the bottom of frozen Lake Chebarkul, including a 1,400 pound chunk. While it didn’t create an impact crater, it shook buildings, damaged roofs, and shattered glass across a 200 square mile area. Over 1,600 people were injured, mostly from broken glass. (Since light travels faster than sound, people witnessed a flash outside and ran to their windows to get a better look. The sound wave came next and shattered the windowpanes.) The meteorites from this event are approximated at 4.5 billion years old, which makes them nearly as old as our solar system.
To learn more, check out these links:
Moment Meteor Explodes Over Russian City from the BBC
Today in science: The Chelyabinsk Meteor from Earth Sky
More Asteroid Strikes Are Likely, Scientists Say from The New York Times
Chapter 16 was my favorite scene to write. Gulp! I know you realize this is a Do-Not-Try-This-At-Home Chapter. But if you’d like to picture the kind of water filter Eleanor and friends are using in the book, check out Katadyn’s website. There’s even a video of how to operate the water filter. (This is not an endorsement of any product.)