Meteor Strike

March 26, 2013 Wisconsin Public Television Leave a Comment

Tomorrow’s broadcast schedule originally included a replay of NOVA “Hunting the Elements,” but that’s no longer true. As it turns out, when meteors strike, schedule changes happen.

I can say with near certainty that no one predicted the Feb. 15 meteor strike in Russia. But, soon as the event happened, it could be foreseen that NOVA’s team of investigative scientists would pull together a documentary on the subject in a matter of weeks.

Where did the meteor come from? Why did it explode with a force 30 times greater than the bomb over Hiroshima? And, what are the chances that another, even more massive, asteroid is heading straight for us? These are all valid questions that will be answered on NOVA “Meteor Strike” at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, the latest in a series of quick turn-around investigations by NOVA, including “Inside the Megastorm” and most recently, “Mind of a Rampage Killer.”

According to NASA, the Siberian Meteor was the largest object to burst in the atmosphere since a 1908 event near Siberia’s Tunguska River – an event with no record except for thousands of acres of flattened trees.

This time, the event was captured by digital dashboard cameras, now common in Russian autos and trucks. (PBS Idea Channel explains why that’s so).

Armed with this crowd-sourced material, NOVA crews, along with impact scientists, hit the ground in Russia to hunt for debris from the explosion and clues to the meteor’s origin and makeup. What they’ve gathered is a comprehensive picture of what happened in the skies above Russia on Feb. 15th and the likelihood that such an event will happen again.

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