Sure, there have been other simulations of what large meteors might do when they enter the atmosphere. But this is an unusual case where the simulation followed the actual, well-documented event, which is extremely valuable to the modelers for testing the simulation. It's just one example of how the Chelyabinsk meteor, in an instant, changed a field of science from one that was largely speculative to one that was very real.
Russian Meteor: How Many Tiny Asteroids Buzz Earth?
"This is the first asteroid disaster in the history of mankind," remarked Clark Chapman of the Southwest Research Institute, who spoke at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week. And although it was a small disaster compared to a hurricane or an earthquake, it still is something we need to learn from to help minimize hazards to life and property, he said. "If we do that we will be in a better position to respond to them."
More on the Russian meteor:
Russian Meteor's Two Scary Lessons GIANT Meteor Hits Russia (Video)
Russian Meteor: Small Asteroid Impacts More Likely Images: Top: Eyewitness photograph of the meteor trail over Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15 (Credit: Chelyabinsk.ru). Inset: A short animation demonstrating a cross-section of the "double tail" of the Russian meteor (Credit: Sandia National Laboratories).