Wednesday, Aug 27 2014
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Siberia's navigable rivers are more than long enough to encircle the globe'
W.Bruce Lincoln

'I thought I saw a nuclear bomb exploding'

By Ekaterina Baklitskaya
21 February 2013

Sensational pictures of last week's meteorite strike have emerged from a Russian photographer.

'My thoughts were confused and spontaneous. The first thing I thought was not a meteorite, but a nuclear bomb. Then I remembered the media reports about a possible asteroid and its approach to the Earth'. Picture: Marat Akhmetaleyev

Sensational pictures of last week's meteorite strike have emerged from a Russian photographer.

Marat Akhmetaleyev, 31, had just fixed his tripod for some landscape pictures when the space rock shot through the sky, exploding with the force of 30 Hiroshima explosions.

'I was lucky to just see it. I was EXTREMELY lucky to be able to photograph it,' he told The Siberian Times. 

'It was a truly idyllic morning, so quiet, so peaceful. I was completely relaxed and totally into my landscape shooting - until the sudden appearance of this 'guest'. I can't say it was all that professional, the way I responded. I just did everything automatically.'

The results are stunning. Breathtaking.  

world's best meteorite pictures


world's best meteorite pictures

'There was nothing unusual or special in the sky before the object appeared. After making a few shots from different angles, I moved to a different spot. The camera was pointed in the direction of the rising sun. A couple of minutes remained before the sun would appear'. Pictures: Marat Akhmetaleyev

'The morning was frosty (about -17 C), windless and cloudless,' said Marat.

'And because the day before was very warm (the temperature was near zero) - the trees were covered with frost. 

'I decided to go to my favourite photography spot which is close to my home. Around 9am, I was at the spot and began to make my first shots. 

'There was nothing unusual or special in the sky before the object appeared. After making a few shots from different angles, I moved to a different spot. The camera was pointed in the direction of the rising sun. A couple of minutes remained before the sun would appear.'

Then came the flash. 

'The appearance of the object was a  total surprise! The camera was on the tripod and was pointed almost at the side, from where the object appeared. 

'I leaned over to the camera to change the angle and make another shot.

'At this point, with my side vision, I saw a bright flash. At first it was small. I immediately turned the camera to the object, and at this time of the flash reached its peak, and everything was lit with a stunning bright light.'

His mind raced with thoughts about what he was witnessing, as he kept taking pictures. 

'My thoughts were confused and spontaneous. The first thing I thought was not a meteorite, but a nuclear bomb. Then I remembered the media reports about a possible asteroid and its approach to the Earth. 

'Then there was the idea that a plane had crashed.'

world's best meteorite pictures


world's best meteorite pictures

'When the flash was as bright as possible, I felt strong heat in my face. It lasted just a split second. At the time of bright light, I also felt a strong pain in the eyes of intolerable glare'. Pictures: Marat Akhmetaleyev

Marat said: 'In the first seconds my heartbeat and breath quickened, and as well my hands were shaking with shock from what I was witnessing. When the flash was as bright as possible, I felt strong heat in my face. It lasted just a split second.

'At the time of bright light, I also felt a strong pain in the eyes of intolerable glare.'

Some two minutes after the flash there were a series of explosions. 'The sound was clear and very powerful. The first explosion was very strong,' he said.

'No physical sensations and vibrations - as I was far from any buildings and roads. 

'Immediately after that there was a series of bombings over the pine forest, a large number of birds rose up and flew in all directions. 

'My heartbeat, breathing, and hand tremors only got worse. The shock was even bigger'.

world's best meteorite pictures


world's best meteorite pictures


world's best meteorite pictures

'Everything was a blur, and occurred in a matter of seconds. Next, the actions which I do vaguely remember. I did everything 'automatically'. Shock did not allow me to concentrate to put the correct values and choose a better camera angle. I remember that I dropped the camera control in the snow, and changed the filter on the lens. Pictures: Marat Akhmetaleyev

On how he shot the remarkable pictures, he said 'immediately after seeing the first outbreak, I turned the camera towards the subject.....but it was heavily overexposed.

'I frantically started trying to fix the exposure to capture the object. I do not remember exactly how I made the frame with the hot particles in the meteorite track. 

'Everything was a blur, and occurred in a matter of seconds. 

'Next, the actions which I do vaguely remember. I did everything 'automatically'.

'Shock did not allow me to concentrate to put the correct values and choose a better camera angle. 

'I remember that I dropped the camera control in the snow, and changed the filter on the lens. 

'Only after the series of blasts I came to my senses, and was able to set the correct exposure, choose camera angles and shoot a few panoramas with the meteorite cloud'.

The morning sun had now risen. But the sky seemed bluer and more transparent than usual and the sun 'was not like a morning sun, but the sun at noon'.

world's best meteorite pictures

'My thoughts were overwhelming and did not allow me to think about the scale of the incident and its consequences. On the way home I thought how I'd witnessed something global and very important. Pictures: Marat Akhmetaleyev

After his most remarkable shoot, Marat stood on the spot, stunned. 

'I just stood there for some time, observing the nature around me, and thinking about what I had just experienced. 

'My first thoughts were about my loved ones. It was very difficult to call them, because the mobile networks were overloaded. 

'My thoughts were overwhelming and did not allow me to think about the scale of the incident and its consequences. 

'On the way home I thought how I'd witnessed something global and very important. 

'Only when I got in touch with my family, was I able to concentrate on what I'd seen. First news on the Internet did not give any clarity. 

'I immediately set down to work on the pictures and prepare them for publication'.

Visit Marat's blog http://marateaman.livejournal.com/27910.html

Comments (1)

A-a-a-stonishing !!!!!!
Des, Manchester
21/02/2013 21:15
2
0
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR47.6177USD36.1397GBP59.8690Other...