Interview: Meteor Expert Says Russian Strike Was 'Extraordinary'
Marina Ivanova is a senior scientist in the Laboratory of Meteoritics at Moscow's Vernadsky Institute.
"By early afternoon, several websites were already selling "fragments of meteorite."
"I'm selling it because it's useless to me. There are several scratch marks, but in general it's in excellent condition," wrote one Internet user calling himself Alexei and claiming to be from Magnitogorsk in the Chelyabinsk region.
"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."
Reuters: The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end.
Smirnov was asked if there was a link between the Chelyabinsk meteorite and the approaching asteroid 2012 DA 14, which was expected to skim the Earth later on Friday:
"It is clear now that they had different orbits and their orbital planes were inclined considerably. The asteroid that we expect in a few hours is approaching the Earth from the Southern Hemisphere side, in other words its general trajectory lies from south to north, while the Chelyabinsk bolide came from east to west."
Smirnov was also asked whether it had been possible to foresee the appearance of the meteorite:
"Unfortunately the object was not big enough to be detected ahead of time by currently available means at a long distance but big enough to cause a lot of destruction after it broke through toward the Earth."