An early morning surprise
On February 15th, 2013, the Russian city Chelyabinsk got the surprise of a lifetime when an asteroid hurtled down through the atmosphere, disintegrating into thousands of pieces that rained down on the ground. Amateur videos from car dashcams—intended to catch insurance frauds—instead captured a glowing fireball streaking across the sky. Reports indicate that at its peak, the object hurtling towards Earth was brighter than the sun. A great thundering sound was heard soon afterwards, and witnesses in the area said that the air of the city smelled like gunpowder.
The event garnered immediate worldwide attention and social media sites erupted at the news. Initial reactions were skeptical for the most part since meteors rarely have a significant effect on the ground, given that most fully disintegrate on their descent. After confirmation by the Russian government, however, the meteor became the hottest story of the day. Videos from Russian citizens’ dashcams of the meteor made their way to Youtube, cultivating millions of views in a matter of hours.