The Washington Post

NASA and ESA: The asteroid and meteor event are unrelated

This post has been updated.

If you’re wondering, no, the near-miss asteroid event Friday and the meteor falling over Russia are unrelated.

The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Ural Mountain city of Chelyabinsk, on Feb. 15, 2013. (OLEG KARGOPOLOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

A NASA spokesperson confirmed Friday morning that the two objects were on such completely different paths that they are not related to one another. In a tweet, the European Space Agency (ESA) also confirmed that the events were unrelated.

RT @esaoperations: ESA experts confirm *no* link between #meteor incidents in #Russia & #Asteroid #2012DA14 Earth flyby of tonight #SSA #NEO

— ESA (@esa) February 15, 2013

NASA also posted a tweet confirming that the two events were unrelated:

Scientists say Russian meteorite unrelated to asteroid 2012 DA14: on very different paths. DA14 misses us today.

— NASA (@NASA) February 15, 2013

In this photo provided by a meteorite contrail is seen over Chelyabinsk on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (Yekaterina Pustynnikova/AP)

NASA has also released a statement:

According to NASA scientists, the trajectory of the Russian meteorite was significantly different than the trajectory of the asteroid 2012 DA14, making it a completely unrelated object. Information is still being collected about the Russian meteorite and analysis is preliminary at this point. In videos of the meteor, it is seen to pass from left to right in front of the rising sun, which means it was traveling from north to south. Asteroid DA14’s trajectory is in the opposite direction, from south to north.

It’s merely a coincidence, and, for some, a tragic one. More than 750 Nearly 1,000 people were injured, mostly from flying glass, when the meteor streaked over the Ural Mountains in Russia

NASA will be offering live coverage of the flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 at 2 p.m. Eastern Friday. The asteroid will pass so close to Earth that it will pass within the geosynchronous ring of weather and communications satellites.

View Photo Gallery: A meteor that scientists estimate weighed 10 tons streaked at supersonic speed and exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains on Friday, setting off blasts that shattered glass and brought down walls, injuring hundreds of people and frightening countless more.

Read more news and ideas on Innovations:

Meteor’s blasts shatter glass, injure 500 in Russia

PHOTOS | Historic craters

Why you’re not working on an asteroid shield

FORUM | How would you guard Earth against asteroids?

Emi Kolawole is the editor-in-residence at Stanford University's, where she works on media experimentation and design.



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