The Chelyabinsk region of Russia was struck by a ten ton meteorite on the morning of February 15, just hours before a 150 foot asteroid is scheduled to pass between Earth and communications satellites. The shock waves from the meteor passing through the atmosphere blew out glass in six cities and four towns, damaged more than 100,000 square meters of glass, and caused nearly 1,000 injuries, most of them related to flying glass.
For the first time, meteorites from an asteroid which had been tracked in space have been recovered. Researchers at the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona spotted an asteroid on a course for Earth. JPL confirmed it would intersect with the planet and the asteroid was tracked until it exploded at an altitude of 37 miles. Following its disintegration, meteorites were found by students in the Sudan desert. The meteorite’s composition matches spectroanalysis performed on the asteroid by La Palma in the Canary Islands.