This morning, residents of the Chelyabinsk region of Russia saw an enormous meteor streak across the sky. Cars’ dashboard cameras captured one or more objects falling to Earth.
The strike is reported to have occurred around 03:25 UTC this morning, according to the Planetary Society, just before sunrise locally. Other videos record the shock wave from the meteor — probably either a sonic boom as it entered the atmosphere and/or the sound of it breaking up:
There are reports of hundreds injured by broken glass across the region, and additional videos show apparent damage to some buildings.
It’s not entirely clear what’s caused the damage. The shock-wave video shows that it was a powerful burst that could have probably shattered windows on its own, but the New York Times reports that an impact crater has been found on the outskirts of a town 50 miles west of Chelyabinsk city. Meteorites are also reported to have rained down around the city of Satka, but these reports are unconfirmed.
The strike comes as an asteroid known as 2012 DA14 is about to pass Earth in a geosynchronous orbit, but initial reports make it sound as though the meteor or meteors are unrelated. Astronomer Phil Plait says that the trajectories simply don’t seem to add up — this meteor came from a different direction. The European Space Agency’s Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, has tweeted that they believe the meteorite is unrelated. They’ve also posted a photo, taken by Meteosat-10, of the meteor’s vapour trail.