WICHITA, Kansas --
First, it was a meteor explosion over Russia.
Then an asteroid took a close fly-by this afternoon above the Indian Ocean.
Our planet became a shooting gallery of sorts, and both events have helped astronomers and geologists learn more about our Universe.
It hurled toward Earth at a whopping 25,000 miles per hour.
The size of an office desk, it exploded 25 miles in the air.
"Any given day there could be a dozen or one. But there's always a few of those big ones and when you get down to the little ones, hundreds. Hundreds. Every day," explains the program manager at Lake Afton Public Observatory Robert Henry.
An office desk-size meteor is huge in the realm of meteors.
It was fast enough to break the sound barrier and big enough to cause a shockwave after exploding high above the Earth's surface.
"It exploded because of differential heating and the stresses caused by that you know you heat something up it expands," explains Henry.
In Russia people likely first noticed a huge contrail in the sky.
Henry says, "The huge contrail started a little bit before the explosion and then you see the contrail split and a large flash of light."
That flash of light was the explosion that would lead to the destruction and injuries below.
"About 3 or 4 minutes later because it takes awhile for the sound to propogate."
And now that some of the pieces of that meteorite are left behind, scientists can learn more.
"They're going to be looking at the material that caused it and I'm sure they'll learn quite a bit, we're always trying to make that next step forward," says Henry.
What's likely the most uncomfortable part of all this is the fact that it's barely reaching 20 degrees Farenheit in Russia and many people's windows were blown out by the shockwave, making for what's likely a chilly few days.