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Russian Meteorite Could Have Hit UK, Scientists Say

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The 10-ton meteor that caused chaos and devastation when it exploded over the Ural mountains could have struck Britain if the timing had been slightly different, scientists have said.

The region around Chelyabinsk is on the same latitude as northern Britain, 55 degrees north, the Guardian reported.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii said that had the meteorite's timing been only a few hours different, it could have caused widespread damage.

meteor

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk

Any city that was struck by the larger asteroid, 2012 DA14 which grazed Earth later that day, would have been obliterated.

The university is building a asteroid warning system, Atlas: Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System, which will consist of a series of eight telescopes, each fitted with powerful cameras, that would give warnings of between one to three weeks of incoming meteorites.

Russian authorities have sent a 20,000-strong team to the Ural Mountains to help with the rescue and clean-up operation after a meteor struck the area.

The 10-ton meteor, thought to be made of iron, exploded over the Chelyabinsk region in southern Russia on Friday morning.

More than 1,000 people were injured when the meteor, which was travelling at over 54,000mph, streaked through the atmosphere and created a sonic boom.

Hundreds of people were injured when glass shattered in countless windows in the area.

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