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A 500-kiloton airburst over Chelyabinsk and an enhanced hazard from small impactors

Overview of attention for article published in Nature, November 2013
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (99th percentile)

Mentioned by

news
98 news outlets
blogs
20 blogs
twitter
68 tweeters
facebook
5 Facebook pages
wikipedia
5 Wikipedia pages
googleplus
8 Google+ users
reddit
1 Redditor
video
2 video uploaders

Citations

dimensions_citation
258 Dimensions

Readers on

mendeley
163 Mendeley
citeulike
4 CiteULike
Title
A 500-kiloton airburst over Chelyabinsk and an enhanced hazard from small impactors
Published in
Nature, November 2013
DOI 10.1038/nature12741
Pubmed ID
Authors

P. G. Brown, J. D. Assink, L. Astiz, R. Blaauw, M. B. Boslough, J. Borovička, N. Brachet, D. Brown, M. Campbell-Brown, L. Ceranna, W. Cooke, C. de Groot-Hedlin, D. P. Drob, W. Edwards, L. G. Evers, M. Garces, J. Gill, M. Hedlin, A. Kingery, G. Laske, A. Le Pichon, P. Mialle, D. E. Moser, A. Saffer, E. Silber, P. Smets, R. E. Spalding, P. Spurný, E. Tagliaferri, D. Uren, R. J. Weryk, R. Whitaker, Z. Krzeminski

Abstract

Most large (over a kilometre in diameter) near-Earth asteroids are now known, but recognition that airbursts (or fireballs resulting from nuclear-weapon-sized detonations of meteoroids in the atmosphere) have the potential to do greater damage than previously thought has shifted an increasing portion of the residual impact risk (the risk of impact from an unknown object) to smaller objects. Above the threshold size of impactor at which the atmosphere absorbs sufficient energy to prevent a ground impact, most of the damage is thought to be caused by the airburst shock wave, but owing to lack of observations this is uncertain. Here we report an analysis of the damage from the airburst of an asteroid about 19 metres (17 to 20 metres) in diameter southeast of Chelyabinsk, Russia, on 15 February 2013, estimated to have an energy equivalent of approximately 500 (±100) kilotons of trinitrotoluene (TNT, where 1 kiloton of TNT = 4.185×10(12) joules). We show that a widely referenced technique of estimating airburst damage does not reproduce the observations, and that the mathematical relations based on the effects of nuclear weapons--almost always used with this technique--overestimate blast damage. This suggests that earlier damage estimates near the threshold impactor size are too high. We performed a global survey of airbursts of a kiloton or more (including Chelyabinsk), and find that the number of impactors with diameters of tens of metres may be an order of magnitude higher than estimates based on other techniques. This suggests a non-equilibrium (if the population were in a long-term collisional steady state the size-frequency distribution would either follow a single power law or there must be a size-dependent bias in other surveys) in the near-Earth asteroid population for objects 10 to 50 metres in diameter, and shifts more of the residual impact risk to these sizes.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 68 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 163 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 3%
Canada 3 2%
United Kingdom 2 1%
France 2 1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Japan 1 <1%
Greece 1 <1%
Mexico 1 <1%
Unknown 147 90%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 42 26%
Student > Ph. D. Student 28 17%
Student > Bachelor 21 13%
Student > Master 17 10%
Other 11 7%
Other 27 17%
Unknown 17 10%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Earth and Planetary Sciences 54 33%
Physics and Astronomy 40 25%
Engineering 18 11%
Chemistry 10 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 5 3%
Other 18 11%
Unknown 18 11%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1006. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 June 2019.
All research outputs
#7,830
of 17,457,801 outputs
Outputs from Nature
#1,026
of 79,838 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#54
of 196,286 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nature
#10
of 992 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,457,801 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 79,838 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 89.6. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 196,286 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 992 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.