U of M professor says chances of major Minn. meteor strike are slim


A meteor blazed its way to Earth on Friday in Russia's central Ural Mountains, injuring hundreds, damaging buildings in six cities – and setting social media ablaze.

But a professor of physics and astronomy the University of Minnesota's Astrophysics Center says people shouldn't fret the same thing happening here.

Chick Woodward tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the odds of the Twin Cities getting hit by a meteor of a similar size, are, "as we say in the field, astronomically small."

While Minnesota appears to be in the clear for a Russian-like meteor, that's not to say smaller meteors can't hit in the state. Dr. Calvin Alexander, a University of Minnesota professor of Earth Science, tells KARE-TV that about "a dozen fist-sized chunks of meteorite hit Minnesota each year."

In Minneapolis, the words meteor, meteorite, asteroid, russian, injured and метеорит were trending Friday morning on Twitter after the Russian meteor incident, according to Trendsmap.

Fragments of the 11-ton meteor fell in a thinly populated area of the Chelyabinsk region, Russia's Emergency Ministry said in a statement, the Associated Press reported.

As for the fact that the Russia meteor appeared the same day that 130,000-ton DA14 was due to pass within 17,000 miles of the earth Friday, Woodward called it "sort of a happy coincidence."

Here's perhaps the most impressive view of the Russian meteor, taken from a moving car:

Other angles:

And this CNN video shows more glimpses of the spectacular fireball:

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