It is an ongoing joke in the United States that trailer parks are tornado magnets. There was even a scientific study done, but the real cause was the fact that F1 and F2 tornadoes will destroy a trailer, but not homes.
This has actually led to the improvement in the building standards required for trailers, but there are still many around that are not up to tornado code. Heck, there are many houses that are still in danger and most people in affected areas don’t have a tornado shelter. Even though my favorite show “Rocket City Rednecks,” had an episode of how anyone could build a cheap, effective tornado shelter.
Now it seems that Siberia is a meteorite magnet. I am sure you all heard about the meteor that streaked across the sky today causing panic, damage and injuries. This meteor may have been pulled along with the asteroid that passed Earth today. Kind of a tag along gravity hitchhiker. The meteor was a bolide. Although there is no official definition, yes another word the science community can’t define, the word bolide comes from the Greek βολίς (bolis)  which can mean a missile or to flash.
Usually the ones I see are a lovely green explosion, from all the copper in the core of the meteorite. Sometimes they are bright read, from the iron in the core.
The damage that was done today came mostly from the explosion. When meteors enter the atmosphere, they get hot. Really hot. So any water, or even metal, can go very quickly from a solid to gaseous state, causing the meteor to explode. Much like putting an egg in your microwave without puncturing the yolk, you will have an explosive mess to clean up.
These occurrences of actual damage from a meteorite are rare. Most burn up in the atmosphere and make lovely firework shows. The fact is that millions of meteorites enter and burn up in Earth’s atmosphere every day.
But this does prove Bill Nye’s (the Science Guy, and head of the Planetary Society) point that we need more and better technology to detect this type of event.
As it stands today, we can see the very large meteors and asteroids that pass by or even impact the Earth, but not the smaller ones like today’s event. We are better protected than we were a few years ago, but we are still very much blindfolded in a shooting gallery.
I hope that everyone in the area is alright and that no one was killed from falling glass.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +