Friday will likely go down as one of the more memorable days for astronomers and astrophysicists, tantalized with an asteroid near-miss and a meteor strike that impacted with the force of an atomic bomb.
The spectacle of a meteor streaking through the Russian sky early Friday morning frightened citizens, some of whom reportedly thought the world was coming to an end.
"There was panic. People had no idea what was happening," said Sergey Hametov, a resident of Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million about 930 miles east of Moscow.
A meteor exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic, its sonic blasts shattering windows, blowing down doors and injuring about 1,000 people who were just beginning their morning.
Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they rushed to windows in order to catch a glimpse of the meteor and its contrail.
The meteor, estimated to weigh 10 tons and 49 feet wide, shot through the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of more than 30,000 miles per hour.
The Russian Academy of Sciences said the meteor shattered into pieces about 18-32 miles above the ground.
Amateur video showed an object speeding across the sky about 9:20 a.m. local time.
Hours later, the world was captivated by NASA animation of a near-miss by an asteroid that crossed well inside the orbits of communications satellites.
The DA14 asteroid, estimated to be 150 feet in diameter, is flew within 17,200 miles of earth at about 2:25 p.m. EST on Friday.
According to NASA, the two events are entirely unrelated. Small meteorites slam into earth every couple of months, while the DA14 event is extremely rare. NASA says the flyby is the "closest-ever" near-miss for an object this large."