Mar. 15, 2013 at 3:38pmNova: Meteor Strike

There has been much media attention devoted to meteors since a 7,000-ton asteroid, as big as a house, crashed into the earth’s atmosphere and landed in Siberia, Russia on Feb. 15, 2013.

The meteor caused a massive sonic boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, and more than 1,500 people were injured.

A Russian scientist recently concluded that the meteor probably broke off an asteroid and collided with another space body millions of years ago.

"It was formed within an asteroid, separated from it, and then, tens of millions of years ago, it suffered a collision, receiving multiple cracks as a result," Erik Galimov of the Russian Academy of Sciences said last week. Galimov added that it exploded so powerfully because of the large number of cracks.

The dramatic event was captured by thousands of Russian dashboard cameras which are now common there in cars and trucks.

Nova crews joined other scientists in Russia who hunted for clues about the meteor’s origin and makeup.

This original documentary shows those findings as well as an historical look at other greater explosions from meteors in the past like the asteroid that purportedly wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

“Meteor Strike” asks: Is our solar system a deadly celestial shooting gallery with Earth in the crosshairs? And what are the chances that another, more massive asteroid is heading straight for us?

Join me on Wednesday evening, March 27, from 8-9/9-10Mtn. on KSPS in Spokane to find out the answers.

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