Chances meteor blast could happen again soon?

Published On: Feb 15 2013 12:44:47 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 15 2013 10:11:37 PM EST

VIDEO: A look at the meteor that hurt more than 1,000 people from its explosion.


About 1,000 people were injured when a meteor plunged into the Earth's atmosphere Friday morning over the Ural Mountains in Russia.

What are the chances something similar could happen again anytime soon?

"It's scary to hear that big bang, see the streak in the sky and know that every place on Earth is vulnerable to a meteorite strike like this one," said Tom Webber, of the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville.

The meteor lit up the sky about 900 miles East of Moscow early Friday morning. The blast was so intense it shattered the windows of buildings across the region and sent people into the streets wondering what had just happened.

"We get a close fly-by like this every 40 years, and one will actually strike every 1,200 years," Webber said.

Webber is the planetarium director at MOSH. He appeared on Channel 4's The Morning Show on Friday to discuss the meteorite blast.

Webber said people shouldn't worry because the blasts don't happen very often. But he said when they do, they can be intense.

He said one happened in Siberia in 1908 and flattened trees in every direction for 30 miles.

"It can be at the level of a nuclear event, and they have a lot of momentum, a lot of energy," Webber said. "Earlier we were reporting on the high velocity. That's where that energy is coming from. It's a speeding bullet striking our planet."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has mobilized 20,000 emergency workers to the region to help those affected by the blast. At least 3,000 buildings were damaged and several dozen people had to be hospitalized.

Many more will forever remember where they were on the day the meteor streaked across the sky.


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