Asteroid fly-by and meteor shower had a one in 100MILLION chance of happening on the same day

Asteroid fly-by and meteor shower had a one in 100MILLION chance of happening on the same day – that's a better chance than winning the lotteryAsteroid flew within 17,000 miles of Earth several hours after a meteor shower over Russia
Asteroids fly close to the planet once a century while meteor showers happen about once every decade

DA14 hitting the planet, if it did, it would have inflicted 1,000 times more damage than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Its closest approach, passing within 17,000 miles (27,357 kilometers), which is closer than some satellites, was at 7.25pm, GMT.

Disaster: This graphic shows the sequence of events which led to the meteor crashing in Russia

Disaster: This graphic shows the sequence of events which led to the meteor crashing in Russia

In this photo provided by

Speed: Russia's space agency Roscosmos said the meteorite was travelling at a speed of 30 km (19 miles) per second and that such events were hard to predict

VIDEO Unbelievable footage. Meteor shatters classroom, sonic boom reverberates

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Interception: According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteor was intercepted by Russian air defense

Interception: According to an unconfirmed report in Russia Today, the meteor was intercepted by Russian air defense

Shockwave: People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave

Shockwave: People heading to work in Chelyabinsk heard what sounded like an explosion, saw a bright light and then felt a shockwave

Of the meteor, Gulnara
Dudka, a resident of Chelyabinsk, 930 miles east of Moscow and the
biggest city in the affected region, said: ‘I really thought it was
doomsday.’

Teacher Valentina
Nikolayeva, who tried to protect her pupils from the force of the blast
said: ‘There was an unreal light that lit up all the classrooms.

‘That
kind of light doesn’t happen in life, only at the end of the world –
then a trail appeared like from a plane but only ten times bigger.’

Amazingly, there
were no fatalities and most of the wounded were hurt by flying glass –
some 1.8million square feet of which will have to be replaced.

Russian
news networks noted that the meteor struck just hours before the Earth
was due had its closest recorded shave with an asteroid.

However, space
experts said the arrival of the much larger asteroid was merely a
coincidence.

Professor Alan
Fitzsimmons, of Queens University Belfast, said there was ‘almost
definitely’ no connection between the exploding meteor and asteroid 2012
DA14.

‘This is literally a cosmic coincidence, although a spectacular one,’ he said.

Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said the meteor could be a symbol for the vulnerability of the economy – and the ‘whole planet’.

British
experts said that thousands of tons of material from space rains down
on the Earth each day, but nearly all of it burns up and disintegrates
far from the view of the naked eye.

Occasionally
a meteor can come so close that its explosion is felt, as happened
yesterday, or a small meteorite or large asteroid can actually hit the
planet.

Smoking: Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames
Smoking: Pictures show a streak of smoke followed by several bright blasts of flames

Sight: Brightly burning rocks could be seen for hundreds of kilometres as they crashed at around 9.20am local time and one bystander described it 'like a scene from the Armageddon movie'

Coincidence: Early indications are that the shower is unrelated to Asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to skim the orbit of the Earth later today

epa03584980 The vapour

High in the sky: The vapour trail of a falling meteorite is seen in the sky over the city of Chelyabinsk

Injured: A man identifying himself as Viktor poses for a photograph after receiving treatment for injuries after the meteorite shower hit the Russian region

Injured: A man identifying himself as Viktor poses for a photograph after receiving treatment for injuries after the meteorite shower hit the Russian region

edical treatment: Many injured had bloodied faces from being hit by shards of glass broken in the explosions

Medical treatment: Many injured had bloodied faces from being hit by shards of glass broken in the explosions

e have been no reports of fatalities

Toll: Hundreds of people were injured, but there have been no reports of fatalities

VIDEO Moment Meteorite shower hits caught on camera

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Dr Simon Goodwin, an
astrophysicist from Sheffield University, said: ‘While events this big
are rare, an impact that could cause damage and death could happen every
century or so.

'It very much depends on where it hits. A big enough
meteor could cause significant immediate death and maybe cause climate
change by releasing dust into the air – these are maybe every few
thousand years.

‘And a really big impact occurs every few ten millions of years and can cause mass extinctions. One killed the dinosaurs.

‘Scientifically
this is not hugely interesting. Probably its greatest importance is to
make people realise that things fall from space all the time, and every
now and then they can be dangerous.

‘And an impact in a heavily populated area could kill huge numbers of people with no warning or chance of stopping it.'

Sonic boom: Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom

Sonic boom: Tim O'Brien, associate director of the University of Manchester's Jodrell Bank Observatory, said the injuries were caused when the meteor created a sonic boom causing windows to shatter

Explosion: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

Explosion: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

Damaged: A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk was seen with a partially collapsed roof and walls in the morning after meteor pieces rained on the town

Damaged: A zinc factory in Chelyabinsk was seen with a partially collapsed roof and walls in the morning after meteor pieces rained on the town

Moment of impact: A pair, seen on CCTV, cower from the impact as the window near them explodes

Moment of impact: A pair, seen on CCTV, cower from the impact as the window near them explodes

Injured: Four schoolchildren were known to have been injured from broken glass

Injured: Four schoolchildren were known to have been injured from broken glass

Unexpected: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

Unexpected: Eyewitnesses spoke of several devastating explosions rocking buildings and shattering glass

One eyewitness Gulnara Dudka, in her
20s, gave a dramatic account of the meteorite, telling how she feared
'doomsday' had arrived, reported the Siberian Times.

'What was it People said it was a plane that fell and exploded,' she said.

'I saw a bright blast from behind me. Everything was lit up, very bright light.

'It was like from Armageddon movie when the meteorite rain started, I really thought it was like doomsday.

'It was so scary especially the
explosion. It was very strong. I am speechless. It was so strong. My
camera couldn't reproduce how strong the bang was.'

'I was sitting at home and typing
something on my computer. Suddenly there was a huge bright flash,' said
Konstantin Zharinov, an historian and journalist from Chelyabinsk.

VIDEO Dramatic moment workers run for cover as meteorite strikes

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Hurt: A school in Chelyabinsk took a fair brunt of the explosion - four students were injured

Hurt: A school in Chelyabinsk took a fair brunt of the explosion – four students were injured

Blown out: A building damaged by the shockwave from the meteorite

Blown out: A building damaged by the shockwave from the meteorite

Surprise: Shocked residents look up in the sky with horror

Surprise: Shocked residents look up in the sky with horror

Aftermath: People look at damage to a shop following the meteor shower

Aftermath: People look at damage to a shop following the meteor shower

Shattered: The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the impact

Shattered: The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the impact

'At first I thought something happened at my neighbours place but a minute later the sound of the explosion came.'

He said 'many lost their windows, glass is everywhere in the streets'.

Children were left panic-stricken as windows smashed at School Number 15 in Chelyabinsk.

'First there was an unreal light that
lit up all the classrooms on the right side of the school. That kind of
light doesn't happen in life, only at the end of the world, then a
trail appeared like from a plane but only 10 times bigger,' said teacher
Valentina Nikolayeva.

Residents in one 19 storey block reported feeling the shockwaves of the explosions.

The sounds of car alarms and breaking
windows could be heard in the area, said a witness, and there were
reports that the internet and mobile networks were temporarily down.

Destroyed: The building of the local zinc plant badly damaged by a shockwave from a meteorite impact

Destroyed: The building of the local zinc plant badly damaged by a shockwave from a meteorite impact

Getting to work: Rescue servicemen work at the site of a collapsed wall and roof of the concentrate warehouse of the zinc plant in Chelyabinsk

Getting to work: Rescue servicemen work at the site of a collapsed wall and roof of the concentrate warehouse of the zinc plant in Chelyabinsk

VIDEO Scientist says Russian meteorite and second near miss meteor not linked

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