Russia Meteor's Dust Cloud Circled Earth—in 4 Days

Plume was detectable 3 months later

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 16, 2013 12:04 PM CDT

(Newser) – Yet another pretty wild revelation about the meteor that rocked Russia last February: It thrust a massive dust cloud into our atmosphere that was detectable even three months later—and that plume managed to travel all the way around the northern hemisphere and back to Chelyabinsk in just four days, per a new NASA study. (Just 3.5 hours after the explosion, the plume was tracked 684 miles east, traveling at 190mph, reports the Washington Post.)

Space.com reports that the scientists used NASA's Suomi NPP Satellite to track the cloud, which contained hundreds of tons of dust. If that sounds like a staggering amount, Space.com points out that an average 30 metric tons of space dust hit our planet daily, and sources like volcanoes dump even more particles into the stratosphere.

In this frame grab made from a video done with a dashboard camera a meteor streaks through the sky over Chelyabinsk.   (AP Photo/AP Video)
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NASA explains what it discovered.   (NASA)

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