Pat Shingleton for Monday, Feb. 18, 2013

Out of a clear sky, a large incandescent mass crashed into a forest near Vanavara in central Siberia. Over a 300-mile area, men and horses were jarred from their feet and five hours later, atmospheric waves were experienced in Britain. Seismic waves were recorded in Germany and Russia. Eighty million trees over a 2,000-square-mile area were charred. The date was June 30, 1908, and scientific studies after this event determined it was not a meteorite that struck this area. Meteors are pieces of space rock originating from larger comets or asteroids that traditionally burn up from the heat of the atmosphere. Surviving meteors are called meteorites. Finally, a bolide is a super bright meteor that ends its fiery descent with an explosion and a detonating fireball.

Fastcast: Afternoon showers.