By Aaryn Valenzuela
The meteorite that recently hit Russia is believed to be the largest in more than 100 years. The last reported meteorite hit Siberia in 1908, and didn't cause any injuries, but destroyed millions of trees.
"Of course it killed wildlife and trees, but like this one it exploded in the atmosphere, and like this one where you had shock waves that broke glass and buildings, the shock wave just flattened trees for many, many miles," says Dr. Mark Sonntag, a Physics Professor at Angelo State University.
Over the weekend workers in Russia cleaned up after the meteorite damaged hundreds of buildings and shattered windows. Now, search teams are out looking for pieces of the meteorite. Dr. Sonntag says space debris actually hits the Earth every single day.
"Most of it is burned up in the Earth's atmosphere, and never ever poses any sort of threat because the material is very small, and our atmosphere acts as a protector, and protects us from these kinds of objects," says Dr. Sonntag.
The meteorite was about the size of a small bus. Sonntag says NASA does have telescopes that monitor space, but this one was just too small to track.
"They take images and compare them to previous images to see if there is anything in there that has changed position, and if it has, then they have discovered a solar system object, and they can keep an eye on it, and get enough observations where they can calculate its orbit, and see if its going to cross the earth's obit," he says.
More than a thousand people were injured as a result of the meteorite explosion last Friday.