HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - First a meteorite explodes over Russia, then an asteroid zips past earth at the closest range ever.
Dan Mazanek, the near-earth object technical lead at NASA Langley, said no one knew about the meteorite before the fire ball hurled to earth, because it was so dark in space.
"Think toner cartridge, toner for your printer or copier, that's how dark some of these objects can be," Mazanek said.
Mazanek said that is why seeing Asteroid 2012 DA-14 Friday was such a big deal for scientists.
"The idea is once these objects come close to the earth and we can characterize them know their orbits then we can predict many many years into the future with a good deal of certainty whether or not they are going to impact the earth," Mazanek said.
If this asteroid is determined to be a threat, they can actually alter its orbit to prevent a strike.
However, there are probably 300,000 more asteroids the size of this one and Mazanek said scientists only know about one percent of them.
Mazanek said what happened in Russia Friday could happen at any time.
"It happens so infrequently the question is how much insurance do you want to buy?" Mazanek said.
As for the timing of these two cosmic events, scientists say there is no connection because these space rocks were traveling in opposite paths.
State police is conducting a criminal investigation after a vehicle crashing into a residence on the Eastern Shore.
David Karl Becker, a Navy SEAL, was arrested on four charges related to stealing and selling government-owned firearms and ammunition.
Newport News Police said they are looking for the person who drove into the wall of a car wash and stole a control box.
Virginia lawmakers and officials commented on the passing of Nelson Mandela Friday, December 5, 2013. Mandela was 95 years old.
The Chesapeake Police Department is seeking any information about these 10 wanted suspects. If you know anything, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Norfolk Fire & Rescue officials said a train went off its track Dec. 5, 2013 in the area of East Princess Anne and Ingleside roads.
HazMat crews have identified the material on a derailed train in Norfolk as cement. East Princess Anne and Ingleside roads have reopened to traffic.