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WSU planetarium director shares his thoughts on Russian meteor with Fox 2 News

February 18, 2013

Claude Pruneau, professor of physics and director of WSU's planetarium, talked with Fox 2 reporter Amy Lange about asteroids. "There are literally thousands of these objects, the so-called near earth objects, NEOs, out there. It's a pretty scary proposition," said Pruneau. Commenting about the massive asteroid that passed by Earth Friday afternoon Pruneau says 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 adds that 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.