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After 1,200 Russian people hurt in meteor explosion, Grand Valley professor warns we're at the mercy of larger forces


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (WTVB) - Friday was one amazing day if you are an astrophysicist, but you didn’t have to be a scientist to be awestruck by the spectacular shots of that meteor that exploded over Russia with the force of a small atom bomb. At least 1200 people were hurt by flying glass and other objects, as the sonic boom from the blast collapsed the roof on a factory and shattered windows in thousands of buildings.

In Grand Rapids, Grand Valley State University Physics professor Doug Furton says the object was about the size of a semi-tractor, which is big for a meteorite, but small as space objects go. It overshadowed the passing of an asteroid about the size of an Olympic pool that passed harmlessly by the earth, but within the orbit of some of our synchronous satellites.  For Furton they both carried a similar message, a reminder of the fact that we live at the mercy of much larger forces and that at any time, our circumstances could be altered.