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Thai astronomer says meteor blast 'normal'
Publication Date : 16-02-2013
A Thai astronomer yesterday downplayed the significance of the meteor that exploded over Russia yesterday, hours before an asteroid is due to pass close by the Earth this morning.
Dr Saran Posayajinda, deputy director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand, said asteroid 2012 DA14 was not on a collision course with Earth.
2012 DA14 was expected to pass within 27,300 kilometres of the Earth at 2:25am this morning local time, but will not be visible to the naked eye.
Saran said his institute would observe the asteroid using a 2.4-metre-wide telescope at the observatory on Doi Inthanon mountain in Chiang Mai.
He said the meteor blast in the atmosphere over Russia was a normal phenomenon. Four similar incidents have been witnessed in Thailand: in the skies above Nakhon Pathom in 1923; in Chiang Khan in Loei province in 1981; in Ban Rongkhu, Phetchabun in 1993; and in Phitsanulok in 2009. In the 2009 incident a meteorite struck a house but no one was injured.