WSU planetarium director shares his thoughts on Russian meteor - KMSP-TV

WSU planetarium director shares his thoughts on Russian meteor

Posted: Updated:
Claude Pruneau is the director of the planetarium at Wayne State  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Claude Pruneau is the director of the planetarium at Wayne State (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Talking about the massive asteroid that passed by Earth Friday afternoon in astronomy class at Wayne State can't compare to the cosmic surprise that rained down over Russia earlier in the day.

"There are literally thousands of these objects, the so-called near earth objects, NEOs, out there.  It's a pretty scary proposition," said Claude Pruneau.

Super scary when you consider what happened in Russia.

"It's crazy.  I was surprised it was unrelated the asteroid that's going by us today," said student Andrew Pixley.

"I think we should definitely spend more money and really see what's out there," said student Nahid Bari.

"This was a big one and that happens, but not very often fortunately," Pruneau said.

Pruneau is a physics professor and director of the planetarium at Wayne State.  He says don't panic.

"Sonic booms like this happens millions of times a day, but most of the time they're so tiny that we cannot perceive them.  We cannot see them," he explained.

The professor says those that are big enough are on NASA's radar, such as the asteroid that just passed by, and they can be deflected if they're on a direct collision course with Earth.

To put this in perspective, scientists say this cosmic display we just saw in Russia really pales in comparison with what wiped out the dinosaurs.

"Dinosaurs were extinct 65 million years ago most likely because of an impact in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, but this was a major, major colossal event," said Pruneau.

An object that was probably hundreds of kilometers across that crashed to Earth generating ashes that blocked out the sun and cooled down the planet and caused mass extinction.  65 million years ago there was no way to predict that.

"The universe is a dangerous place," Pruneau said.

And a fascinating one.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor charged with domestic violence

    Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor charged with domestic violence

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-09-10 21:18:53 GMT
    Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Stevens, 50, was arrested Sunday at his Macomb County home, after his wife called 911 claiming that he assaulted her.
    Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Stevens, 50, was arrested Sunday at his Macomb County home, after his wife called 911 claiming that he assaulted her.
  • Friends mourn murdered Bloomfield Twp. man

    Friends mourn murdered Bloomfield Twp. man

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-09-10 04:14:50 GMT
    Friends of murdered Bloomfield Twp mourn 77-year-old Billy Whitelaw who was found dead in his Knoll Pointe condo just days ago.
    Friends of murdered Bloomfield Twp mourn 77-year-old Billy Whitelaw who was found dead in his Knoll Pointe condo just days ago.
  • Judge says possible resolution in Bashara murder case

    Judge says possible resolution in Bashara murder case

    Monday, September 8 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-09-09 01:34:15 GMT
    Bob Bashara was back in court today for what was supposed to be the final conference before his trial starts for the brutal murder of his wife. However, in court today, Wayne County Circuit court judge Vonda Evans suggested that Bashara consider accepting a plea deal that was discussed privately in the her chambers.
    Bob Bashara was back in court today for what was supposed to be the final conference before his trial starts for the brutal murder of his wife. However, in court today, Wayne County Circuit court judge Vonda Evans suggested that Bashara consider accepting a plea deal that was discussed privately in the her chambers.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • M-1 RAIL PROJECT ALTERS D-DOT BUS ROUTE

    M-1 RAIL PROJECT ALTERS D-DOT BUS ROUTE

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:14 AM EDT2014-09-15 08:14:02 GMT
    Important information concerning the M-1 Rail Project's effect on an important D-Dot bus route. D-Dot route number 53 along Woodward Avenue has been re-routed to Cass Avenue. It will not be available on Woodward between Adams and Mack.
    Important information concerning the M-1 Rail Project's effect on an important D-Dot bus route. D-Dot route number 53 along Woodward Avenue has been re-routed to Cass Avenue. It will not be available on Woodward between Adams and Mack.
  • Family believes missing man shot, abducted

    Family believes missing man shot, abducted

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:50 PM EDT2014-09-15 03:50:53 GMT
    The family of a 20 year old man says he was shot in Detroit and now he's missing. The family of Mike Bryson made an emotional plea Sunday, asking the public for help to find him.
    The family of a 20 year old man says he was shot in Detroit and now he's missing. The family of Mike Bryson made an emotional plea Sunday, asking the public for help to find him.
  • Police: 7-year-old girl shot while playing outside

    Police: 7-year-old girl shot while playing outside

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:19 PM EDT2014-09-15 03:19:22 GMT
    Detroit Police are investigating a shooting Sunday that left a 7-year-old girl in critical condition.
    Detroit Police are investigating a shooting Sunday that left a 7-year-old girl in critical condition.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices