February 15, 2013

    Photo: alexeya/Flickr

Meteorite Explodes Over Central Russia

Injuring nearly 1,000

This is a pretty realistic vision for the end of the world, right? A giant meteorite streaked across the Central Russian sky this morning and exploded over the Ural Mountains, injuring close to 1,000 people. (Quick astronomy lesson: If it burned up in the atmosphere, it’d be called a “meteor.” When the debris actually reaches Earth, it’s a “meteorite.”) Most importantly, no one died.

The meteorite exploded 50 miles west of Chelyabinsk (thankfully, since more than one million people live there), but the explosion caused a sonic boom, which shattered glass throughout the city. Most of the injuries were glass-related.

So, how big and how fast was this thing? According to The Atlantic Wire (which will answer all of your questions):

Russian scientists estimate that the meteorite weighed in at around 10 tons, according to the AP, or about 20,000 pounds—and that it hurtled toward Earth ... at 33,000 miles per hour. And apparently 10 tons in space is chump change compared to the asteroid that will not be destroying Earth this evening, which is apparently the size of an Olympic swimming pool—space agencies have carefully predicted the path of that beast many times over already.

More frightening than all those big numbers: Russian authorities say the event was completely unpredictable. And more frightening than that: this video.

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A paraglider hangs in the sun.     Photo: skycaptaintwo/Flickr

Paraglider Rescued After Crash in Canadian Rockies

Jumping in windy conditions

A paraglider was airlifted to a Calgary hospital after he sustained potentially life-threatening injuries in Alberta's Rockies on Thursday.

The 38-year-old man was jumping near Mt. Lady Macdonald, northwest of Canmore, when he crashed into the hillside. 

Police have not released the man's name, but a friend identified him as Andrew Wexler, a native of the area.

Mickael Roy said Wexler has several years’ experience paragliding under his belt, and had traveled to other countries, including France and Turkey, to paraglide.

Roy said the area Wexler had been paragliding in Thursday, Lady Macdonald, is notorious for its winds.

“If you want to take off from Lady Mac, you might have some wind coming from the north,” said Roy. “If you have that kind of wind, you’ll be in the lee and it will be kind of dangerous.”

Roy said Wexler was flying with a smaller-winged paraglider that allows for faster flying speeds and can be flown in windy conditions.

“In those conditions, like today, you cannot fly with a normal paraglider,” said Roy.

A spokesman for the helicopter rescue company said he was in critical condition

Via The Calgary Herald

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Warm Weather Halts Snowboard World Cup Races

Deteriorating conditions in Sochi

Unusually warm weather has forced the cancellation of Friday’s Snowboard World Cup races at Russia’s Sochi Olympics venue. Organizers merely postponed the races at first but were forced to cancel them entirely as the snow continued to deteriorate. Racers had complained about the rough conditions on Thursday as well.

FIS snowboard race director Uwe Beier admitted that holding consecutive events on the same slope may have made matters worse. “There is always a balance of risk if you run two events on two consecutive days on the same slope because you don’t have that much preparation time,” he said.

The races have been rescheduled for February 23rd in downtown Moscow.

Via 680 News

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