The Russian meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk was 1000 times bigger than they originally said it was. NASA stated that they do not currently have the technology available to track objects of that size or predict when one might be coming towards our planet. Some estimates indicate that there could be as many as 100,000 of these small sized asteroids that could potentially hit the earth someday. Obviously this does not happen very often since the last one in recorded history was in the early 1900s.
The much larger asteroid that passed by the planet on February 15 2013 was discovered by amateur astronomers and reported to NASA. I am not sure exactly how they found it, but I suspected was the good old fashioned way with optical telescopes. The real question is what would we have done if a larger asteroid had been on a collision course with earth. As far as I know, there is still no technology currently available to deflect an asteroid from hitting the earth. So for Russia has been hit twice by such an occurrence in the last 100 years.
If the Russian meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk had a shock wave that was strong enough to blow out windows all over that city, I wonder what effect it had on the people’s hearing. None of the news articles seem to indicate how loud the noise was when it exploded. Any noise 150 decibels or louder has the potential to permanently deafen and someone. If you see a meteor flying through the atmosphere, a good course of action might be to anticipate the shockwave and protect your ears by covering them. It might be best not to stare in the direction of the potential explosion either because the flash of light could potentially damaging the retinas in your eyes.