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Local Expert Weighs In On Huge Meteor That Exploded Over Russia

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Mike Schuh 370x278 Mike Schuh
Mike Schuh joined WJZ Eyewitness News as a general assignment reporter...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Widespread injuries are reported in Siberia after a rock from outer space blows up in the morning sky.

Mike Schuh turned to local experts to try to make sense out of the amazing videos capturing the Russian sky.

First, the sky lights up. Then the sight of an incredible bright streak in the sky, then the sound of the meteor breaking up.

“They’re a combination; some are just rocky material, some are iron,” said Jim O’Leary, Maryland Science Center.

It’s estimated that a million Russians have cameras in their cars to discourage corrupt traffic cops. That’s why there are so many of these amazing images capturing the space rock blowing up over Siberia.

That streak is a 175 miles long.

“They’re moving so fast when they hit the atmosphere, it’s like doing a belly flop in the water.  There’s friction and they burn up immediately,” O’Leary explained.

The meteorite size is uncertain, maybe the size of a human, maybe the size of a car.

Its speed is great.

“Estimates are about 25,000, 30,ooo 35,000 miles an hour. When they’re moving through space, the atmosphere is thin but again it’s like hitting a wall,” O’Leary said.

A wall producing a huge shockwave. As many as 1,000 people were injured.

It’s like a giant bomb went off.

Flying glass caused most of the injuries.

“It’s almost pancaking. I can imagine it’s flattening, just can’t take it anymore and it explodes. And you get that shockwave, you get that sound effect like a sonic boom almost,” O’Leary said.

It was a frightening morning commute, the power of something so small impacted so many people over such a large area.

There was another meteorite sighting Friday, but it was only visible on the other side of the Earth. It was too far away to do any damage.

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