After Russian meteor blast, an asteriod passes near earth

by Kelsey Shirriff

Hours after an estimated 49-foot wide meteor exploded over Russia Friday morning, injuring nearly 1,000 people, a 150-foot asteroid hurtled closely past Earth.  

According to scientists, the two astral events had nothing to do with each other because they were apparently traveling in opposite directions. The meteor in Russia's Chelyabinsk region was captured on various videos and created an explosion that was nuclear-like in intensity, NBC reported. The shock wave smashed windows and made some think that the world was ending.

“There was panic. People had no idea what was happening. Everyone was going around to people’s houses to check if they were OK,” Chelyabinsk resident Sergey Hametov told The Associated Press. “We saw a big burst of light then went outside to see what it was and we heard a really loud thundering sound.”

The asteroid, on the other hand, missed earth by 17,150 miles, and was best visible in Asia, Australia and eastern Europe. It was too small to see with the naked eye, and was moving at about 17,400 mph.

NASA scientists estimate that asteroids pass by every 40 years and likely make contact every 1,400 years. To see videos of the meteor in Russia, click here.