interesting stuff, i wonder if russia did cause the meteor to explode to prevent a major crash?
A meteor that size will typically explode on its own, it's called an air burst. They're usually low density stony meteorites or comet fragments, but not always - the Sikhote-Alin air burst was an iron meteorite. If the conditions are right, a meteor will break up in a way that suddenly exposes a large surface area to ablation, and the sudden increase in heating blasts the object apart. It's not technically an explosion, but only in the way that most Hollywood special effects aren't technically explosions - there's a boom and a lot of fire
The last one was in Brazil in the late 90's, not as large as this one, though in 1993 there was one much larger than this in Itlay at a much higher altitude.
From the videos I saw, I was completely amazed at how no one was pulling their cars over to take a look at this thing, not even when it exploded overhead.
What do you do when there's a giant fireball streaking through the sky dangerously close and exploding overhead, turning dawn into noon in bright flashes? Who cares? The light just turned green! The traffic must continue!
Russians take everything in stride, even random cosmic smitings.
Thank ye. I wasn't sure if there was an astronomical term to differentiate between direct impacts (ala Yucatan) and air bursts (ala Tunguska / yesterday).
At those speeds it's still an impact whether it's hitting the atmosphere or hitting the ground, the one video with that loud bang gave me a deja'vu moment, remembering when I was a kid before they had banned low altitude supersonic flights over population areas. Man that was one hell of a bang.