Capturing Timelapse Videos in Windows

Hi All

Many of you here like to view the webcams of volcanoes to see the live action. Unfortunately many of them are just jpeg photos that update every few mins. While you can get a sense of what is happening, it is difficult to get a true picture, and sometimes you can miss the best moments.

Take for example Tolbachik; for me, the best view of the day is ~4am GMT, this is late morning to midday onwards in Kamchatka, once the morning sun has disappeared from the webcam. Here is an example


It’s rare to see days like this in Kamchatka… especially if you live in Europe, where the timezone does not suit at all. However, if you are able to capture each jpeg from the same site, you can make the jpeg’s into a movie like this:

Missing the action can even happen with the streamed webcams like from Katla and Hekla, where you can see the current action, but you can’t afford to sit there all day and watch it. Timelapse videos are like a summary of the action which can view a whole days action within a few minutes. This is a guide on how to create timelapse videos from webcams for Windows users. I have already hidden some Linux bash scripts and Perl Scripts on how to do this in the comments of this thread:

However, there seem to be lots of Windows users out there, so this guide is for Windows only. If I have time, I will put together a second post on the Linux scripts. I have tried to make the windows version as simple as possible ie no Perl, no Cygwin, just install a couple of small executables and use batch files to automate the work. By removing Perl we lose the capability to pull images from php pages, so if you are adventurous enough, you might try and install Perl for windows and dig out the Perl script from the previous thread and try it yourself.

Anyway without further delay here is how its done:

Step1 Install Wget:

Download and install Wget for Windows at the following link.
The link you want is highlighted in the following image from the page above:
I followed the default install options, and the instructions from here on in assume that you also use the default. If you decide to change the install path, you will have to adjust the instructions below to your install path.

Step2 Add Wget to you system path:

Once you have installed, you will want to edit you system environment variables so that you can call the wget command from any directory in a command prompt window. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then whenever you call wget in the scripts further down in this post you will have to give the full path to the wget command.

To add wget to you system environment variables:

(Instructions for Win7)

  1. Click on Start
  2. Right Click on Computer (in the right hand menu)
  3. Select Properties
  4. Click on Advanced system settings
  5. Click on Environment variables
  6. Highlight the path user variable and click edit
  7. Add the path “C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin” to the end of the list, using ; to separate from the existing list of items
  8. Click All the OK buttons to close all the windows

Step 3 Test Wget

To test wget is working in your command prompt:

Click on Start

  1.  Type cmd into the search
  2. Run the cmd.exe and this opens the windows command prompt
  3. If you followed step 2 and added the path to your environment you can type : wget
    and press enter:
  4. If it saves the google page, then wget is ready to go
  5. If it appears stuck trying to download, you might be behind a proxy server. You can edit the proxy server in C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\etc\wgetrc find the http_proxy setting and change it to whatever your proxy server is.
  6. If you get command not found, then re-check what you did in Step2, or skip to the next step
  7. If you did not set the system path, you can access the wget command directly by changing
  8. you command prompt path:
    • cd “..\..\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin”

and then type wget as above to test if its working

Now we shall install ffmpeg. This is used to convert your captured jpegs into a nice mp4 video, ready to be shared to the worldJ FFmpeg for windows can be downloaded at the following link
I choose the 64bit static build (because I am using 64bit version of windows (but I think 32 bit version will run on either 32 or 64bit OS). I created a folder on my C drive called ffmpeg and saved the download here, and then extracted it. The ffmpeg.exe that we want is then in the following path


This will vary if you chose something other than the 64bit static build. You will need to add this path to you environment path as was done for Wget





Step 5 Start Capturing Jpegs

Open a command window on you PC. (cmd.exe as in step2). Create a folder on your hard disk in which to capture the images

Eg c:\ffmpeg

I have created the following simple batch file to capture the images. This batch file assumes you have modified you system PATH so that it can find wget (otherwise you need to provide the full path to where the executable is)

echo off
set count=0
REM start infinite loop to capture images
REM use Control C to break it
REM download the image
wget %1
REM count the images downloaded
set /a count+=1
REM we need to store the images
REM in an incremental order so that ffmpeg can reorder
REM them correctly
move img_1.jpg cam1_000%count%.jpg
REM waitfor the specified timeout
timeout /t %2
goto loop

((( And without comments its just this:

echo off
set count=0
wget %1
set /a count+=1
move img_1.jpg cam1_000%count%.jpg
timeout /t %2
goto loop

%1 and %2 are parameters you can pass into the batch file. %1 is the website you want to capture and %2 is the time between captures in seconds. An example of execution to capture Tolbachik every 60 seconds would be:

photoGrab.bat 60

This script will save the images as cam1_X.jpg in C:\ffmpeg, where X increments for each image captured. The script will run forever and eventually fill up your hard disk with images, you will need to use control C keys to stop it.

Step 6 Create the Timelapse

Finally the last step, this is where you can turn all you jpg’s into something interesting, weather permitting 😉 .

I can either use control C to stop the photoGrab.bat or open a second command window to create the mp4 file. You might have to let it run for a while to capture a decent sequence of photos

In the command window make sure you are in the C:\ffmpeg folder run the following command:

ffmpeg -y -f image2 -r 4 -i cam1_%04d.jpg timelapse.mp4

this will turn your images into a timelapse sequence called timelapse.mp4, which can be posted to YouTube® or viewed using your local mp4 player.

That’s it, I Hope I have not missed anything


This image got damaged through mail. You can see the original higher up in Gregs post. I left it though because it looks like art to me. Spica


111 thoughts on “Capturing Timelapse Videos in Windows

  1. This is Gregs first post here! Thank you Greg!!!.
    If i should have happened to make a mistake editing this in ( because i understand very little to zero on programming scripts for windows… please let me know and i ll change it.

  2. Wow, the timelapse looks very nice 🙂 I find it amazing to see what sort of a nice overview/summary you can get just by using data that is openly available. It really brings it alive.

    I think this would be very nice to do with volcanoes that we know are coming close to a eruption, if the seismic is going wild for example.

    Great post!

  3. Hi

    thanks Greg for the info.

    For Linux users, ffmpeg is outdated and replaced by avconv. For windows I do not know.
    Both programs do approx the same things

    Here is the manual page to explain all the parameters.

    you can probably apply some of those tricks to the ffmpeg syntax.

    In particular, one can paly with the resolution (search for qsxga parameter) to make HD video.

    I use avconv to make the video I post here.

    • Debian and Ubuntu have replaced ffmpeg with avconf (for some reason). However ffmpeg is still supported and the last release was made in January. For the purpose of what we are using it for, i think they do the same thing.

      • yup I’m pretty sure the two are very very compatible. I changed because I had some message in Octave saying that ffmpeg is outdated…..

  4. arrgh; just lost a lengthy comment due to log in failure… (note to self: log in first…)
    anyway, thanks greg for the instructional post, will give it a try as soon as i’m back at my pc in chilly old england. hope the structions will work with windows xp… if not we are planning to upgrade the clunkputer soonish…
    weather is much improved in lanzarote; we are chillaxin again because lizzie has a poorly toe (christmas mishap…)
    we visited fuerteventura on saturday, schpectacular but an harsh enviroment… el hierro is the only island i’ve not visited… one day…
    cheers all, more on my return 😀

      • This is not Hekla but it is Torfajokull. It is actually just at the edge of the caldera of Torfajokull and this is one volcano it erupted 6 times at same time as Veidivotn. But the entire region between both volcanoes is a short distance and sight of many small independent eruptions, not belonging clearly to either.

        However sometimes earthquakes at this region appear a few days before a proper eruption of Hekla. I think this happened before one of the last eruptions but cannot record which one, and which source I have read this in.

        But yes, there are subtle signs pointing to increased restless over the entire region in south Iceland, between Katla, Torfajokull and Hekla, 3 volcanoes which are actually quite near to each one. My bet remains: an eruption of Hekla within the next months, maybe even this month! Hekla erupts most often in late winter and spring time, but it could be just a statistical coincidence.

  5. Someone at eruptions posted a qoute about a possible extinction event 100 to 200 milion year from now. The qoute is written by Michael Thorne.
    Accoording to Michael Thorne at a depth of about 3-4 km two big blobs of very old continental crust are about to collide. Those are continental sized, slighty colder and slower bits in the lower inner mantel.
    The collison could potentionly create a new hotspot. The event could surface 100M years from now and cause massive fload bassalts for example.
    His website has a beautifull set of animations of P and S waves travelling through the earth.
    Animations of P and S Waves traveling through the different layers in our planet. crust, moho, outer mantel…
    I recomment this one, P and S waves passing through the earth with an event happenning at a depth 500km.
    [video src="" /]
    There is also an animation about the same event at the surface, or animations about effects of different densities, velocities on the reflections in the lower mantel.
    Check animations on his site:

    Most of it is my own interpretation of the subjest and i’m a carpenter.

  6. El Nathan says:

    who wants a seaview when this exists as well:

    Probably more than a few on the Carnival Triumph who have been relegated to shitting in little bags for the last week or so.

    According to the news, Carnival says they are reimbursing the passengers for this cruise, giving them a free cruise in the future, and an extra $500 for the problem.

    Elsewhere on the news… they seem to be unable to report on anything with out making themselves out to be true idiots. The big calamitous excitement now is that the ship is coming in with no propulsive power. Hint news idiots. There is nothing unusual about that. They will just add tugs to compensate, and the pilots are very experienced in dealing with vessels that have no or limited propulsion.

    ITS THEIR JOB. In other words, they get paid good money to do it since several hundred thousand dollars of equipment is usually at risk. (not counting lawsuits) Mistakes cost a lot of money for the underwriters and they don’t hire some moron whose only experience was yammering at us about the latest news thrill. These people live and breath “set and drift.”

    For all: Pilot to tug communication is via radio and whistles. It’s quite impressive watching them jockey several thousand tons of vessel into and out of port. But by far, the most impressive I have seen was one of my old captains. He got the ship underway once by using the prevailing winds to push us off of the pier, then using the ships screws to twist the ship to a new bearing, then motored out the channel… no tugs. That man could drive a ship.

    (he kept the tugs nearby in case he needed them)

    By far the most exciting underway was in the Philippines when we had a throttle casualty and drug the tugs across the basin and whacked another ship. When the tugs saw that we weren’t going to stop, they cast off as fast as possible and pulled back to watch. (if you weigh a few hundred tons, you don’t want to get tangled up with two several thousand ton vessels getting together and dancing, you could get stepped on. Above all, the law of gross tonnage applies. If it’s bigger than you, get out of it’s way.)

  7. Terminology:

    In the post, the phrase “Control C to break it” is used. By “break it” he means to break out of the loop. Not to damage something. The term “break” used in this context, has been around for years in programing. In essence, you are regaining control of the command line so that you can execute more commands.

    This public service announcement brought to you by the color “Three™” and the number “Blue™”

  8. Hey guys, Long time no see. Sorry about that!

    I have some questions though, regarding Hekla. I have been following her, everyday for at least a year now. And I see you guys are talking about an eruption that could happen within a few montsh from now. What is that based on?! I have seen some changes myself, but nothing thats not normal. I kinda thought it was weather related. When that is said, its been 13 years since the last eruption, and the pressure have to start building up in there. But guys, if there is something actually happening inside Hekla, could it just be like, gas?

    Hope all of you will have a great day, and I’ll come back tonight to check on some replies 🙂

    See ya!

    – Christina

    • Hmm, I don’t know to be honest. If I had to guess, I would say part statistics, part subjective interpretation and part hope 🙂 There are some people around who know Hekla better then their spouse, so perhaps they can share some info of what they think. I’m also wondering what the telltale signs are that it will be within months, other than “she is overdue” (if those signs even exist for an unpredictable volcano like Hekla).

      • – Great post Greg, very neat to have for those who can not saty and watch, but like watch on regular bases.
        – Yes, Hekla is (my opinion) in final stages. I did post a comment (from expert source) in last thread on this. One should take such tips with caution but do not rule it out.
        And today there was quake in Veiðivötn area (Northern-most Dead Zone). But Iceland is rather quiet at the moment, so needs a day or two to “heat up”. Consider this the calme before the Storm. *sell airliner stock and invest in mask factory* 😉

        • Ah, forgot. Hekla / Burfell strain dip was mainly due air-pressure drop, a small slip was there also, but we saw ten-times as much “slip” (Slip down) last year and nothing came out. Any “slip” worth 100,000 raw-units x 2 or x 3 is highly worthy of note – not 5,000 (as day before yesterday).

          • Greater than or equal to. I also have money on Hekla going soon. I just hopes its on a day like today. My goodness we have pretty weather.

  9. Here is the earthquake animation for January and up to February 13 th 2013.
    The red dots are the EQs of the day, the former EQs appear with size proportional to magnitude and color changing with age (red is youngest, blue oldest). Plot max depth has been set to 30 km so a few events may be missing.

    EQ data from IMO, elevation from NOAA, made on Octave, avconv to make the video.

    • In the youtube video embedded in the post, 261 images. The Tolbachik webcam updates every 60 seconds, so i try to capture at this interval.

  10. Thank for the clear instructions Greg. I would love to do a time lapse so when Husband is back at work and I have some uninterrupted time, I will come back to this.
    Ah! Valentine’s day and they said Husband & I would not last… that was 20 years ago! he proposed to me on Valentine’s day 1993. 🙂 Today we celebrated. Together we bought a new Loo seat . We were in perfect harmony about style and colour. We then went on to buy a new vacuum as the one we have is too heavy now for me to take upstairs. Again gentle, mutual decisions.
    These simple day to day happenings are to me part of true love. Of course I cooked his favourite meal. Of course we said to each other “I love you” but like volcanoes, at times the fire and noise dies down but that magma is still pulsing and keeping the vlocano warm and alive!

    • This is one of those areas where men loose if they listen to women.

      I get harangued to not do or get anything for Valentines by the wife. Had I listened to her, it would have been my ass. Period. Now I get lambasted for getting flowers, but had I not, evisceration probably would be a good description about what I would have experienced.

      I am pretty sure that if you look at it for what it is, this is probably why named hurricanes used to exclusively carry feminine names.

      Moving away from that topic… since I have probably managed to piss off about half of you.

      The Carnival Triumph is in Mobile Bay right now… well, it’s trying to be there. This morning the news heads converged there (according to the news head that I was watching) at least 12 separate news crews were occupying the available parking at the terminal. It was so bad, that they were actually trying to interview each other for a while there.

      Okay… later in the day. On this evenings news, local newshead “Vodka Bob” was on the scene in Mobile awaiting the ships arrival. That’s not his name, but ever since he was busted pushing shopping carts around a parking lot with his car, tanked out of his skull, I can’t think of him any other way. He is still doing penance for his transgression since if there is a shit assignment out in the field, Vodka Bob has to go cover it. In this case, it turns out that it’s literal.

      Right now, the Triumph is DIW (Dead in the Water) near the mouth of Mobile Bay since a line parted. There they sit, an incoming tide pushing on the back of the ship, and a southbound wind pushing from the other direction. For now, it sits mostly motionless… silently stinking in the mouth of the bay.

      One family member was on the news talking to his relative on teh ship via the speakerphone on TV. From the conversation: ‘in the middle of the night it sounded like the toilets were flushing again, but when we looked, water was shooting up out of the toilet.’ The person who was being videotaped remarked that the room was on the “7th floor.” (they are decks, not floors).

      Doing some back of the envelope calculations, and assuming that the receiving tank is at sea-level, that’s about 46 psi of hydrostatic head to push the water that high. 322 kilopascal. If it was blowing a geyser of sewage up out of the toilet on the 7th deck, you can imagine was the toilets on the lower decks were doing. {…shudder…}

    • I think is ailien *to the lens = like Gr’ylukerti = or some weird light reflection *note there is light on the huts outside, else you do not see the driveway. Anyways its not Katla herself, she is fast frozen asleep. #thats my keyboard acting when it loses Icelandic caracter set. Annoying. Closing browser and reopen cures it. Hate it.

  11. Something odd to ponder / contemplate – If Yellowstone is / was a hotspot similar to Hawaii prior to hitting land, then what would explain the seemingly abrupt curve it’s taken from washington through Wyoming?

    I know hotspots and plates can move and bend, but that curve is really tight. Just seems odd to me. Yellowstone itself is just an anomly itself, even among hotspot and massive caldera systems. I know it gets too much exposure in the media, but it’s one kooky system there.

    • The Yellowstone hotspot is beleived to have sliced the Farallon plate as it went by. This could account for some of the apparent curve.

      Other than that, you have to resort to shifting of plate motion. Right now, the pole of rotation for the North American plate is somewhere west of Montreal.

      See Euler

      • Is there any research to suggest yellowstone cut through the farralon?

        I’ve been of the very amateur belief in the theory that Yellowstone was created by the Farralon plate in relation to it’s shallow subduction and subsequent sinking. I suppose for people who aren’t familiar with the Farralon plate and how the mechanics of this would work, it would go something like this…

        -Most subduction zones subduct relatively steep. The Farallon plate however subducted at an extremely shallow level, which explains why the rocky mountains are so far inland in the USA. Note that melt won’t occur until rocks reach a certain depth & pressure level, so the typical arc volcanism occurred pretty far inland (I’m pretty sure in the rockies).

        -After the plate completed its dive beneath the USA, it started to sink. This is where things get weird. As the Farralon plate sank while also moving eastward, a few things occurred.

        1. The sinking plate sank to levels where it could produce melt (which then results in volcanism). This volcanism supplied the hot fresh magma needed for volcanoes to form.

        2. The sinking of the Farralon plate created a low pressure zone. When a plate sinks, something needs to fill the space from where it sank from, specifically from the tail of the plate. This creates a plume, which migrates eastward following the tail of the plate.

        3. As is true for most other massive volcanic systems, low pressure rift zones + fresh magma + time to cook crust into Rhyolite = supervolcano.

        I lost the image, but I made an overlay a while back which showed a pretty specific tail-like feature of the Farralon plate that coincides roughly where Yellowstone sits. Additional evidence towards this theory can be seen simply by looking at the ignimbrite (supereruption) Flareup that occurred roughly 40-50 million years back in the southwestern United States which has similarly been attributed to the Farallon plate concluding it’s journey by sinking beneath the southwest.

        In other words, if this theory were correct, Yellowstone is NOT a hotspot that was created by a Hawaiian style plume, but is a hotspot created by the sinking and eastward movement of a tail of the Farallon plate. The reason it looks like a Hawaiian style hotspot is that it’s not a static volcanic system like Toba or Taupo are, but that’s the result of it following a crustal fragment, not a deeper plume that is staying still as the united states is moving westward.

        • Not exactly what I was looking for, but it seems related.

          Although the tomographic results are in strong agreement on the
          presence of this “slab gap”, the interpretation of what process created
          the gap is not established. Obrebski et al. (2010) applied the model of
          Xue and Allen (2007) to argue that the slab disappears due to
          interaction with warmer upper mantle material linked to the Yellowstone
          hotspot. They argue an upwelling heated the slab, removing the
          thermal anomaly that makes it visible elsewhere in these models.
          This might be called the “blowtorch model” for the slab gap.

          “Unraveling the geometry of the Farallon plate: Synthesis of three-dimensional imaging results from USArray”

          And something else that looks interesting though not really related.

          “Franciscan Complex Calera limestones: accreted remnants of Farallon Plate oceanic plateaus”

          Takes off on the throught experiment of semi-symetrical dual oceanic plateaus on either side of a hotspot ‘similar to iceland’ being at play. The idea being that one side, carrying the limestones was acreeted off of the Farallon as it went by. (a variation of the ‘bug on the windshield’ terrane accumulation idea I voiced in a post several weeks ago).

  12. Hi all, thanks to everyone, who in the last thread answered my question about Earthquakes in the Atlantic and Tsunami for Uk. It is so very appreciated when us new people who are trying to learn, get such a fantastic informative answer to help us understand. A huge thank you to each and everyone of you.
    I asked as i am a manager of a fire service in Wales, UK. I am trying to promote more about flooding , surface more than coastal but this helps decide if we could possibly have a scenario that could effect us, i feel its unlikely in next 200 years, but if happened could be costly economically and with life risk. Your explanation has helped alot. I run a website Floodwarn but although mainly flood related site my interest in Volcanoes has been added with cameras ect there for helping people see the beauty and force of Volcano eruptions.
    Again thankyou for all your help, im normally lurking here rather than contributing, but slowly learning.
    Dragged from the spam fault by Spica

  13. Despite the “new age” ramification of it, I do believe in karma. What goes around, comes around. (eventually).

    I’ve showered in kerosene tainted water, drank tea and coffee made from water out of ‘salted’ tanks, and endured weeks of limited water availability while doing my ‘at sea’ requirements. You make do with what you have. Hell, I even cheated and cracked open a bleed valve for the chill water line into a bucket and taken a sponge bath back behind the equipment racks. It was cold, but I wasn’t as funky afterwards. (a point in time when a good working knowledge of how the different systems interact and what is in them paid off. Some ships use salt water for chill water, others use a dye so they can find leaks. This one was pure water. I would have looked pretty silly died florescent green) Anyway… I have a pretty good idea of the misery that they are going through. In a nutshell… it sucks. Bad.

    So I have been wondering… who on there was so bad that they deserve this level of karmic intensity.

    Today, on the news… I found out. It wasn’t any one particular person, though it may have been a two (or more) for one special in the karma realm. In this case, I think Carnival Cruise lines may be the one receiving the payback. You see, Carnival pulled up stakes and quite using Mobile Alabama as an embarkation point back in 2011. That’s lost jobs for the city. And where is the closest place to go when their ship turns into a shit spewing drifting stinkship? Mobile.

    Yep.. what goes around comes around. Beware of Karma.

    (Note this is not Karma as thought of in India. {I dont’ think it is}, it is only related in the ‘bad people get theirs’ line of thinking)

  14. Well, the shit boat made it to the pier, and is disembarking passengers. The biggest complaint othe than the smell, is that they had no AC off the Yucatan, and were sleeping out of the staterooms to stay cool, and once they got to the norhtern part of the gulf, are freezing their arses off. (not literally, its only about 48deg F here.)
    So, a bit worse for wear, but happy to be almost home.

  15. news just in, they found english fitness fanatic who went ‘hiking’ and was lost for a few days, idiot, should buy a lottery ticket, the outback is unforgiving

  16. Yes its all over the news now! I think it cannot be a coincidence with the flyby of the major asteroid today which passes 27.000 km away from Earth surface. Large asteroids frequently pass near planets and their gravity might shatter portions of it. Then the major asteroid and surrounding debris would occupy a larger area. Could be that the currently asteroid is actually a collection of debris with the larger piece being the 50m asteroid and some surrounding debris.

    We might be being hit now by debris from that asteroid and that is quite worrying thought. Actually Russians officials told that they saw a large meteor piece that disintegrated in the atmosphere and originate thousands of smaller pieces which created damage to buildings. Hundreds of people were hurt. Looks like a movie thing!

    I hope nothing falls here in Iceland but I will keep a look for more meteors striking the sky!

    • I’ve been on a very quick trip to the Oregon/Washington coast Astoria Or./Chinook Wa.
      Helping a friend get a load of Dungness Crab for a local Charity “Crab Feed.”
      Live 20 odd years on the Oregon Coast move 300 miles inland, then go to the coast for
      fresh crab. Went via I-84 and the Columbia gorge.Gave the friend a bit of lesson on the geology of the whole area.”Yes that Lava rock you se here at the mouth of the
      Columbia River has roughly the same source as all of our rimrock we see in the gorge and NE Oregon.” as we pulled into Astoria we wer etreated on both sides of the river
      to the ubiquitous Tsunami Escape Route signs-over the Astoria-Megler bridge.
      The ferryboat ride that the bridge replaced was “Interesting” in weather, kind of like
      the Ferry boat ride in bad weather from the Ketchican Airport to the main part of the Island .. Saw a Killer Whale pod (Orcas here) playing alongside the
      causeway.. Anyway we had a fairly uneventful trip and came back to reports of
      the Meteor strike in Russia.
      The universe can throw a pretty good curve ball at us at times….

  17. According to the quick estimate of these guys there is no direct correlation between the Chelyabinsk meteor and 2012-DA14 which will pass earth tonight. The Russian fireball came roughly from the East, meaning that Earth got it “from behind” (earth spin and orbit is counterclockwise looking from a vantage point above the north pole. 2012-DA14 is catching up with earth and will pass us coming from WSW.

  18. On the Russia meteor strike and today´s asteroid flyby:

    This is the part when scientists just behave like religious people: coincidences.

    Coincidence of cosmic proportion? come one, give me a break, no, not really. Its easy, Occam’s razor principle, to use the simplest explanation: these near-Earth asteroids they do near approaches to our planet countless times (just like Apophis in 2029, 2036, etc…). Each of them changes the orbit and if close enough, the gravity of the Earth can provoke earthquakes in the asteroid itself and even shatter pieces of it – just think a gravitational tug similar to the comet that strike Jupiter in the 1990s. It was already broken before the impact.

    Likewise asteroid 2012 DA might be travelling now with an amount of debris nearby, originated from previous close near Earth approaches. Just as it passes by the Earth on 15th February, a larger fragment hits of atmosphere. Easier to explain this way rather than invoke an extreme coincidence, but I do not know anything on their orbits.

    But I can understand governments wanting to hidden this information in hopes of not raising panic in the population. Imagine that, a few hours from now, a new fragment hits the American or European mainland. The millitary could even get crazy and think we are having the start of a missile war. Not good. These things are serious but they are actually much less likely to kills us than a crazy irrational war. And moreover, our atmosphere tends to burn most of the fragments, so usually the only thing remaining is some minor fragments and large sonic booms.

    Apparently, there were a few buildings in Russia that got partiallly destroyed today and had columns of smoke raising from them. Probably its where some fragments hit the ground. Thankfully nobody died, but nobody expected the sonic boom after such fantastic visual display. I was also shocked when I saw one the first videos this morning with that sudden large boom.

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