I just woke up to the news. I’ve heard some people say it’s not related to the flyby today, but that seems like a remarkable coincidence. Are they both part of a cluster, which could mean that there is potential for more hits, or do they know this one came from an entirely different direction?
Related: what would happen if Tonguska hit New York City?
Oh, this Guardian article says that ESA has ruled out a relationship. I’d still like to know on what basis. It’s also claiming almost a thousand people injured (but no reports of deaths yet, fortunately). I guess it will get sorted out later today.
And this is a good reminder to support the B612 Foundation, because I expect the government to continue to dither, even with these stark reminders.
[Update a couple minutes later]
OK, I see that people had already started to discuss this in comments at yesterday’s post before I was awake.
[Update a few minutes later]
Jorge Frank (who was one of the reviewers of my book when I was drafting it) says that it’s too soon to say.
[Update a few more minutes later]
OK, now Don Yeoman is saying that it’s unrelated:
Yeoman stressed that the bolide event was likely not associated at all with the incoming asteroid 2012 DA14, which will fly within 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometers) of Earth when it passes safely by our planet today.
“The asteroid will travel south to north,” Yeomans said. “The bolide trail was not south to north and the separation in time between the fireball and 2012 DA14 close approach is significant.”
I think the jury’s still out, for reasons that Jorge notes. Yes, they’re far from each other, given the time and velocity, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not part of a cluster that were once a single object, that have spread out from perturbations over the eons.