World·Video

Bob McDonald explains the Russian meteor

The meteor that streaked across the Russian sky before exploding over the Ural Mountains "punched a hole in the air," says the CBC's top science reporter.

Earth is in the universe's 'shooting range' says CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks host

Meteor shower power

9 years ago
Duration 3:52
CBC's science correspondent Bob McDonald explains the science behind meteors, and what caused the sights and sounds of the explosion in the sky over Russia 3:52

The meteor that streaked across the Russian sky before exploding over the Ural Mountains "punched a hole in the air," says the CBC’s top science reporter.

Bob McDonald, host of CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, said the meteor was travelling about 10 times faster than a supersonic jet when it broke apart over Russia with a massive boom. McDonald said that sound — which many mistook for a massive bomb blast — was actually an "airburst."

Friday’s meteor strike, while an amazing sight, is nothing new.

"We’re in a shooting gallery," McDonald said, of Earth’s spot in the universe. Thousands of small asteroids are constantly streaking past the planet — including 2012 DA14, another asteroid that buzzed by Earth on Friday.

now