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Broken Bulwark Dungeon Aspect and Location Guide

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Broken Bulwark is one of the Dungeons you can explore in Diablo 4. Read on to learn more about the reward for completing this dungeon, the Ghostwalker Aspect!

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Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark dungeon location and how to clear it

Bulldoze your way through Bulwark.

ghostwalker in broken bulwark

Whether you’re attempting to earn Renown, find a specific Legendary Aspect for your build, or simply 100% a region of Sanctuary, players will be trying to complete dungeons from levels 1-100 in Diablo 4 . Some of them can be difficult to find, though, such as the Broken Bulwark dungeon.

The Bulwark dungeon houses the Ghostwalker Aspect, which can be equipped by any class in the game, making it a hot commodity. In order to equip the Ghostwalker Aspect onto your gear, though, you first need to locate the Broken Bulwark dungeon. I will go over exactly where you can find this dungeon and how to clear it in Diablo 4 in the guide below.

Broken Bulwark dungeon location in Diablo 4

You can find the Broken Bulwark dungeon in the region of Scosglen, home of the Druids. More specifically, the dungeon is located just south of the Firebreak Manor Waypoint. If you’re traveling from the northwestern road that leads out of Fractured Peaks, you want to take your first left and you’ll stumble upon the dungeon.

I’ve put a map screenshot below that shows you exactly where to locate the Broken Bulwark dungeon.

A map screenshot of the Broken Bulwark dungeon in Diablo 4

Once you find the Broken Bulwark dungeon, you can enter without any restriction and then begin to clear it out to earn the Ghostwalker Aspect.

How to clear the Broken Bulwark dungeon in Diablo 4

Your first objective upon entering the Broken Bulwark dungeon will be to search Slain Knights to obtain the Keep Key. The Slain Knights are scattered around the dead ends of the first part of the dungeon. You will find them lying on the floor and I was only able to loot the Keep Key after searching the last of the Slain Knights.

Related: How to get the Conceited Aspect in Diablo 4

With the Keep Key in hand, you can open the door near the middle of the dungeon and travel to the Desecrated Great Hall. Here, your next objective is to collect Animus from Animus Carriers. The Animus Carriers are large enemies that are located in separate parts of the dungeon. You need to defeat all of them in order to collect enough Animus to fill up the urn in the central room.

After you have enough Animus, deposit it into the urn, go through the door in front of you, and then you will face off against the final boss, the Khazra Abomination. This boss fight isn’t particularly difficult, and once you’re done, the Ghostwalker Aspect and any rare loot the boss leaves behind is yours.

ghostwalker in broken bulwark


How to get the Ghostwalker Aspect in Diablo 4

Diablo 4 Ghostwalker skill menu and info

How can ghosts walk if they don’t have feet?

Of Diablo 4 ’s dizzying 115 Aspects, Ghostwalker is one of them. This perk gives you a movement speed bonus when you become Unstoppable, and it lets you freely move through enemies. I joked about it two sentences ago, but there’s no doubt that this is a great perk with the right build.

Much like the Wind Striker Aspect , the Ghostwalker Aspect is easy to locate. In fact, if you like to spelunk dungeons, you might even get this one by accident before you finish Act 2 of the story! Here’s where to find this Aspect.

Broken Bulwark location on the map in Diablo 4 to find the Ghostwalker Aspect

Ghostwalker Aspect location and directions

You’ll find the Ghostwalker Aspect in the Broken Bulwark Dungeon . It’s located directly south of Firebreak Manor, in the Westering Lowlands of the Scosglen region. Players will have to come by here during Act 2 of the story, so you really can’t miss it!

Though the directions here are straightforward, you have an especially easy way to track this one. Open your Codex of Power, look for the Ghostwalker Aspect in the “Mobility” tab, and press the prompted button to pin the dungeon location on your map. You can find more details on how to handle this process here .

ghostwalker in broken bulwark

Broken Bulwark dungeon guide in Diablo 4

The Broken Bulwark requires some exploration to clear, but it overall doesn’t pose much of a challenge. Your first objective will involve inspecting Slain Knights to find the Keep Key. You’ll see the unfortunate knights scattered all around, so just keep checking them until one pops up with the Key. Here’s where I found the key.

Broken Bulwark map with keep key location listed

Use the key on the locked door, which will have a diamond symbol on your map to indicate its location. Passing through will access the second half of the dungeon, which changes the objective to “Collect Animus from Animus Carriers.”

Animus Carriers in the Broken Bulwark in Diablo 4

This isn’t too rough either. Animus Carriers will appear on your minimap with a skull icon (pictured above), so just hunt all of these down and make sure to collect the glowing orbs they drop upon defeat. You may inadvertently pick these up as you fight.

Barbarian fighting the Khazra Abomination in the Broken Bulwark in Diablo 4

Once you fill the Animus bar, deposit it in the Animus Urn at the end of the dungeon. Afterwards, walk through the gate to trigger a fight with the Khazra Abomination, which you’ll find in a few other spots . In short, make sure you stay out of the poison fields and keep piling on attacks. With careful play, you should take this thing down without any issues.

With the Khazra Abomination cleared, you can claim your loot at the end of the dungeon alongside the Ghostwalker Aspect in your codex. Good luck with your build!

ghostwalker in broken bulwark

Filed under... #Diablo 4 #guides

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ghostwalker in broken bulwark

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Broken bulwark.

Broken Bulwark is a dungeon in Diablo 4 that can be found in the region of Scosglen. This dungeon was a keep that was once part of Donan's Estate. As such, you will find knights lying around lifeless in this dungeon as well as the demons and wolves that killed them.

Broken Bulwark Location

Broken Bulwark Location.png

Broken Bulwark is located in the Westering Lowlands subregion of Scosglen. This subregion is adjacent to Cerrigar with the closest waypoint being the Firebreak Manor.

Broken Bulwark Dungeon

Broken Bulwark Dungeon.png

This dungeon is quite a large one and makes good use of its space. Since it's a keep, you'll see a lot of armor racks, weapon racks, and the such. The first objective is pretty unique too with the player having to go around the first area of the dungeon to search for slain knight bodies for the key to unlock the inner rooms. Because of this, you're gonna find yourself walking around the first part of the dungeon quite a bit.

After you've found the keep key, use it to unlock the door and proceed to the next area where the objective would be to collect Animus from Animus carriers. Luckily, the second area is much smaller than the first one so there's about one Animus Carrier around the corner.

Broken Bulwark Boss

Broken Bulwark Boss.png

The dungeon boss in Broken Bulwark is the Khazra Abomination. This boss wants to be face-to-face with you and that can be quite good for melee jobs. There's only really one thing to keep an eye on when fighting this boss, and it's the AoE it produces.

This boss throws an AoE on the ground and it stays there. If you step on it, it's going to damage you so it's best to reposition yourself once in a while so that you can stay away from those. It also has a move that charges towards you if you're too far.

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Ghostwalker Aspect – Diablo 4 Legendary Aspect

Last Updated: August 19th 2023

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Ghostwalker Aspect is an all-class Mobility Aspect that can be found by completing the Broken Bulwark Dungeon as well as from random enemy drops. After clearing the Dungeon for the first time the Aspect will be available in your Codex of Power.

How to Obtain - Codex of Power - Broken Bulwark

Ghostwalker Aspect Mechanics

  • Only the Movement Speed bonus persists for 4 seconds after Unstoppable. You can no longer move through enemies after Unstoppable ends.
For further information, see our Build Guides , Legendary Aspects & Codex of Power
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Ghostwalker Aspect

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Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon location and guide

Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon location and guide

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Need a guide to help get you through the Broken Bulwark dungeon in Diablo 4 ? This dungeon located in Scosglen can be tricky if you don’t know where you’re going.

Dungeons are one of the best activities to complete in Diablo 4, whether you’re playing the campaign or enjoying the endgame. While some dungeons are best for farming , and other dungeons are great to play as Nightmare Dungeons , each one has its charm. Broken Bulwark is no different, featuring a big layout and fun tasks. Need help getting through it? Here’s our guide for the Broken Bulwark dungeon in Diablo 4.

Broken Bulwark Dungeon Location

A screenshot of the Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon location.

The Broken Bulwark dungeon is located in the Scosglen region of Sanctuary, in the Westering Lowlands. It’s quite close to the border of Dry Steppes. The Firebreak Manor waypoint is going to be the closest, so if you have it, use it to travel there.

Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon walkthrough

When you first enter the dungeon, you’re going to be in the Corrupted Keep and tasked with searching slain knights for the Keep Key. Simply investigate the bodies of knights found around this part of the dungeon for the key. However, this part of the dungeon is rather large, so you’ll need to do some traversing. Once you’ve found the key, you can head forward.

Next is a far more familiar objective, collecting Animus from Animus Carriers in the Desecrated Great Hall. Broken Bulwark is filled with Drowned, Goatmen, and Werewolf enemies, so the Animus Carriers will be one of these. They are Elite monsters, so be careful when fighting them, as they are stronger. They’ll also normally be traveling in groups, so you’ll need to take them all down to retrieve the Animus. But, luckily this part of the dungeon is nowhere near as large as the Corrupted Keep, so you won’t have to walk as far. The Animus Carriers will all be highlighted with a white icon on your mini-map, so they won’t be difficult to find.

Once you’ve collected all your Animus, head through the doors and deposit it all into the Animus Urn. This will awaken the boss for the Broken Bulwark Dungeon, the Khazra Abomination.

How to beat Khazra Abomination boss

The Khazra Abomination is not too difficult of a boss, but it does want to keep in close quarters with you. If you’re far away from it, the boss has a special move where it will charge towards you. Save your dodge ability for this move to get out of the way.

You should also watch out for the poison puddle AoE attacks the Khazra Abomination has. These attacks will stick around, and they will do a fair amount of damage if you step into them.

I’ve found that running behind the boss and doing damage from behind is the most effective way to take it out. Stay somewhat close so the boss doesn’t charge you, as that attack is annoying. However, you shouldn’t have too much trouble taking the abomination out.

Broken Bulwark Dungeon reward

After defeating the Khazra Abomination, you’ve successfully completed the dungeon. For your hard work, you’ll be rewarded with the Legendary Ghostwalker Aspect being unlocked in your Codex of Power. This Aspect can be used by all classes and gives you increased movement speed while you have the Unstoppable status, and for four seconds afterward.

That’s all you need to know about the Broken Bulwark dungeon and guide. Be sure to check out our Lightning Sorcerer build guide to be totally prepared for anything the dungeon can throw at you.

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Broken Bulwark  is a Dungeon in Diablo 4 . Broken Bulwark  is a dungeon filled with Drowned, Goatmen and Werewolves. The Khazra Abomination  is the final boss in the dungeon . Broken Bulwark  can be found at  Scosglen .

Once part of Donan's estate, and razed with the rest.

Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon Location

Diablo IV  Broken Bulwark  Dungeon can be found at:

  • Westering Lowlands in  Scosglen   [Map Link] .
  • NOTE:  In order to unlock the  Broken Bulwark  Dungeon, you need to progress in the Campaign in  Scosglen .

Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Reward

Upon successfully completing  Diablo IV   Broken Bulwark Dungeon, you will be rewarded with the following Legendary Aspect : 

  • Ghostwalker Aspect

How to complete Broken Bulwark in Diablo 4

Broken Bulwark can be completed by doing:

  • Search the Slain Knights for the Keep Key.
  • Use the Keep Key to open the door.
  • Travel to the Desecrated Great Hall.
  • Collect Animus from Animus Carriers.
  • Deposit Animus into the Animus Urn.
  • Defeat the Khazra Abomination

Diablo 4 Quests in Broken Bulwark Dungeon

Players need to complete  Broken Bulwark   for the following Quests :

  • No related Quests

Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Walkthrough

As you step foot into the ominous Broken Bulwark dungeon, begin your ascent up the sturdy stone stairs that lay before you. The path stretches ahead, guiding your every step in a singular direction. Along this perilous journey, you shall embark on a quest to seek out the fallen knights, their lifeless bodies serving as a grim reminder of the battles fought within these walls. It is within the depths of this labyrinthine domain that you must find the coveted keep key, a crucial artifact needed to unlock the secrets that lie ahead.

Yet, beware, for the path is not without its perils. As you forge ahead, the chilling echoes of your footsteps are soon accompanied by the haunting presence of your adversaries. The relentless Drowned, fierce Goatmen, and cunning wolves shall cross your path, their menacing gaze fixated upon you. Equip yourself with courage and your trusted weapons, for you must engage in fierce combat to fend off these relentless foes.

With perseverance and skill, you shall soon discover the resting place of the fallen knights, their bodies strewn across the corridors like haunting echoes of battles long gone. Search diligently amongst the fallen, for it is within their grasp that the elusive keep key is hidden. Retrieve it with care, for it holds the key to unlocking the mysteries that await you further along the path.

Pressing onward, the path unravels before you, beckoning you to venture deeper into the heart of this forsaken stronghold. With the keep key in your possession, you approach the looming door that guards the entrance to the Desecrated Great Hall. Insert the key into the lock, and as the heavy door creaks open, a sense of anticipation fills the air.

Entering the Desecrated Great Hall, a new challenge awaits you. Scattered throughout this vast chamber, you shall find the Animus Carriers, mysterious vessels that hold the essence of power. It is your task to gather the Animus, following the guiding markers that have been strategically placed within the hall. Step by step, your progress shall be measured by a steadily filling bar, marking your journey toward completion.

Once the bar reaches its culmination, a sense of accomplishment will wash over you. Yet, there is one final task that awaits. Proceed through the door that lies ahead, carrying the collected Animus with you. Awaiting on the other side, the Animus urn stands as the threshold to a momentous encounter. Depositing the gathered Animus within its sacred vessel shall awaken the formidable guardian of this dungeon, heralding the beginning of an epic boss battle that will test your mettle and determine your fate.

The Khazra Abomination's attacks can be troublesome if not approached carefully. Its powerful arm-plunging move can catch you off guard, so save your dodge ability for that moment. Position yourself behind the boss to unleash a devastating combo. Watch out for poison puddles, especially the one created by the stabbing attack, which lasts longer. As the battle progresses, the puddles may cover a larger area. Defeating the Khazra Abomination yields valuable rewards like gold, a rare gear item, and a magic gear item.

D4 Enemies & Bosses in Broken Bulwark

  • Khazra Abomination

Broken Bulwark Notes & Tips

  • Dungeons  are instanced domains that offer a sanctuary for brave adventurers. They are thematically related to the region in which they are found, but their layout is randomized. Each Dungeon  has their own Boss  as well as a related Legendary Aspect  that they reward, once completed. Players are also awarded 30 Renown points by completing a dungeon.
  • All notes and tips about Broken Bulwark go here…

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Diablo 4 Broken Bulwark Dungeon Guide

The Broken Bulwark dungeon is full of Goatmen, Werewolves, and the Drowned in Diablo 4. It is guarded by the Khazra Abomination.

The dungeon entrance of Broken Bulwark in Diablo 4.

The Broken Bulwark dungeon is set inside a keep that has been taken over by a lot of monsters in Diablo 4. These walls used to once belong to Donan but are now overrun with Goatmen, Werewolves, and the Drowned, among other demons.

The dungeon map is quite large with a lot of enemies to kill in both open and tight spaces. Thanks to its rather linear layout, you are going to record excellent clear times in the Broken Bulwark.

That, however, is not saying that this is a good dungeon to farm gear in. You only need to clear the Broken Bulwark for its legendary aspect in D4. There are better dungeons out there that you can spam to farm XP and loot.

Broken Bulwark location in Diablo 4

Broken Bulwark is located in the Westering Lowlands of Scosglen in Diablo 4, just below Firebreak Manor where you complete some of the starting story quests of Act 2.

Hence, you should already have unlocked the Firebreak Manor waypoint . This is the shortest path you can take to reach the Broken Bulwark dungeon in the south past Demon’s Wake .

The map location of the Broken Bulwark dungeon in Diablo 4 with nearby waypoints.

Teleport to Firebreak Manor and take the southern exit. Keep following the road to the right as it snakes its way around Westering Lowlands.

Take the left and you will enter the main area outside the two dungeons here. Head right to reach the location marked on the map above to find yourself at the dungeon entrance of Broken Bulwark in D4.

Incidentally, you need to just advance in your Scosglen story campaign to unlock this dungeon. There are no other requirements.

Broken Bulwark completion rewards

Completing the Broken Bulwark dungeon for the first time rewards you with +30 Renown in Diablo 4. Make sure to keep tabs on your Scosglen progression to claim your regional bonuses after obtaining enough Renown.

In addition to the Renown, you also unlock the Ghostwalker Aspect (for boots and amulets) in your Codex of Power . This legendary aspect is not class-specific, meaning that it can be used by any class in D4.

Hailing from the mobility category, the Ghostwalker Aspect lets you move through enemies with increased movement speed while you are unstoppable , and for a few seconds after.

Broken Bulwark dungeon walkthrough

The floors of the Broken Bulwark are covered with the slain bodies of knights that died fighting to protect their keep in Diablo 4. One of them carries the Keep Key that you need to open the door to the inner rooms.

Find the Keep Key

You are going to be doing a lot of exploring for your first objective. To make the search as easy as possible, clear out entire rooms and sections before checking each slain knight for the Keep Key.

When you do find the key, open the door at the front to head into the Desecrated Great Hall to start on your next objective.

Fill the Animus Urn

You now need to find Animus Carriers to gather Animus, a kind of essence of power in Diablo 4.

Similar to your first objective, explore the Great Halls for the carriers while getting rid of all monsters and enemies.

You are not going to be spending a lot of time here. Compared to the first section of the Broken Bulwark, the Great Halls are smaller in size. You can expect to find an Animus Carrier around almost every corner.

Once you have enough, fill the Animus Urn to awaken the boss of the Broken Bulwark dungeon.

Defeat the Khazra Abomination boss

If you have already encountered the Khazra Abomination in some of the other dungeons like the Komdor Temple and Hoarfrost Demise , you can skip this section.

If you are facing this mini-boss for the first time, do not let its size and appearance overwhelm you. The Khazra Abomination is not that hard to defeat.

The only thing you need to watch out for is its AOE attacks. Keep an eye on the ground patches during the boss fight. You need to stay away from them because stepping foot inside that marked area does a lot of damage.

In addition, try to stay close to the Khazra Abomination. If you go too far, it will use a charging attack to reach your location. You are going to get staggered if you get hit here.

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Diablo 4 - All Dungeon Locations And Aspects Guide

Here's where you can find all the dungeons and aspect rewards in Diablo 4.

By Jason Rodriguez on June 1, 2023 at 3:20PM PDT

There are over 100 dungeons in Diablo 4 . Each one rewards you with a particular Legendary Aspect that can be used by certain classes. Here's our Diablo 4 dungeon locations guide to help you find all of these landmarks in the game. And yes, this is really every dungeon in Diablo 4--for now, anyway.

Kyovashad: Capstone Dungeon

Stronghold: nostrava, stronghold: malnok, desolate highlands, the pallid glade, sarkova pass, dobrev taiga, gale valley, frigid expanse, seat of the heavens, stronghold: moordaine lodge, stronghold: tur dulra, stronghold: hope's light, wailing hills, the shrouded moors, highland wilds, the emerald chase, westering lowlands, stronghold: the ruins of qara-yisu, stronghold: the onyx watchtower, kotama grasslands, tuusma rift, khargai crags, chambatar ridge, dindai flats, the scarred coast, untamed scarps, jakha basin, the accursed wastes, stronghold: altar of ruin, stronghold: omath's redoubt, amber sands, scouring sands, ragged coastline, southern expanse, stronghold: eriman's pyre, stronghold: vyeresz, dismal foothills, the writhing mire, umir plateau, fethis wetlands, ruins of rakhat keep, blightmarsh, forsaken coast, rotspill delta, diablo 4 dungeons guide.

Before we discuss all Diablo 4 dungeons, let's first talk about how you can explore and acquire rewards. First off, the Codex of Power tab shows all the Legendary Aspects that come from your first clear of each dungeon. These are either specific to a class, or for all classes (i.e. General).

Take note that not all Diablo 4 Legendary Aspects come from dungeons. There are also those that can only be extracted as affixes from items. You can learn more in our Legendary Aspects/Codex of Power mechanics guide .

Likewise, most dungeons can be seen on the overworld map. As you progress further in the campaign and roam around the world, you'll reach new locations. Revealing these sub-zones will also show the dungeons therein. There are, however, a few exceptions, such as ones that will only appear after you've conquered a Stronghold . Moreover, although the overworld map is static, the interiors of Diablo 4 dungeons tend to be procedurally generated, with slightly different layouts for players.

Fractured Peaks Dungeons

Fractured Peaks dungeons map

  • Cathedral of Light - This is a level 50+ dungeon that's unlocked after beating the campaign. Once completed on World Tier 2, you'll be able to select World Tier 3.
  • Cultist Refuge: Flamewalker's Aspect (Sorcerer) - Coming in contact with your Firewall grants +15% movement speed for four seconds.
  • Anica's Claim: Stormclaw's Aspect (Druid) - Critical strikes with Shred deal +20% of the damage as lightning to the target and surrounding enemies.
  • Rimescar Cavern: Aspect of Plunging Darkness (Necromancer) - Bone Prison spawns a pool of Blight that deals 50% bonus damage over six seconds.
  • Defiled Catacomb: Aspect of Tempering Blows (Barbarian) - After swapping weapons six times, gain X Fortify.
  • Tormented Ruins: Aspect of the Unsatiated (Druid) - After killing an enemy with Shred, your next Werewolf skill generates 20% more spirit and deals 20% increased damage.
  • Lost Archives: Aspect of the Protector (General) - Damaging an elite grants you a Barrier that absorbs X damage for 10 seconds; can only happen once every 30 seconds.
  • Derelict Lodge: Aspect of Explosive Verve (Rogue) - Grenade skills count as Trap skills; whenever you arm a Trap or drop Grenades, gain increased movement speed for three seconds.
  • Nostrava Deepwood: Flesh-Rending Aspect (Necromancer) - Gain +10 essence after Decompose spawns a corpse.
  • Caldera Gate: Eluding Aspect (General) - Becoming injured while crowd-controlled grants unstoppable for four seconds; has a 40-second cooldown.
  • Mercy's Reach: Blood Seeker's Aspect (Necromancer) - Blood Lance deals x15% increased damage to its primary target per lanced enemy.
  • Forbidden City: Nighthowler's Aspect (Druid) - +5% crit chance from Blood Howl; will also affect nearby companions and players for three seconds.
  • Kor Dragan Barracks: Aspect of Anemia (Barbarian) - Lucky Hit; direct damage against bleeding enemies has a 20% chance to stun them for two seconds.
  • Light's Watch: Aspect of Conflagration (Sorcerer) - +20% burning damage while channeling Incinerate.
  • Maulwood: Slaking Aspect (Barbarian) - Lucky Hit; +30% chance to gain 20 fury when Rend deals direct damage to at least one bleeding enemy.
  • Dead Man's Dredge: Aspect of Piercing Cold (Sorcerer) - Ice Shards pierce three times, dealing 25% less damage per subsequent enemy hit.
  • Immortal Emanation: Mangled Aspect (Druid) -+20% chance to gain +1 spirit when struck as a Werebear.
  • Hallowed Ossuary: Aspect of Unrelenting Fury (Barbarian) - Killing an enemy with a core skill refunds 10% of its base cost; can only happen once per skill cast.
  • Black Asylum: Aspect of Torment (Necromancer) - +20% energy regeneration for four seconds when you get a critical strike with a Bone skill.
  • Forsaken Quarry: Aspect of Encircling Blades (Rogue) - +8% Flurry damage; Flurry damages enemies in a circle around you.
  • Hoarfrost Demise: Blood-Bathed Aspect (Necromancer) - Blood Surge's nova echoes after a short delay, dealing 70% less damage.
  • Zenith: Recharging Aspect (Sorcerer) - +4 mana each time Chain Lightning bounces off you.
  • Sanguine Chapel: Energizing Aspect (Rogue) - +3 energy when you damage an elite enemy with a basic skill.
  • Kor Valar Ramparts: Blast-Trapper's Aspect (Rogue) - Lucky Hit; dealing direct damage to enemies affected by Trap skills has up to a 30% chance of making them vulnerable.

Scosglen Dungeons

Scosglen dungeons map

  • Ferals' Den: Aspect of Quicksand (Druid) - Earth skills slow enemies hit by 25% for five seconds.
  • Twisted Hollow: Shadowslicer Aspect (Rogue) - When you cast Dash, a Shadow Clone is spawned at your location; the clone also casts Dash, dealing 25% of the base damage.
  • Underroot: Aspect of the Expectant (General) - Attacking enemies with your basic skill increases the damage of your core skill by 5%, up to 30%.
  • Wretched Delve: Aspect of Static Cling (Sorcerer) - Charged Bolts have a 15% chance to be attracted to enemies; Charged Bolts last 300% longer.
  • Flooded Depths: Aspect of the Empowering Reaper (Necromancer) - Critical strikes from Sever have a 10% chance to spawn a pool of Blight that deals 20% bonus damage; can only happen once every three seconds.
  • Calibel's Mine: Aspect of the Relentless Armsmaster (Barbarian) - +20% fury generation while all damage bonuses from the Walking Arsenal passive are active.
  • Sunken Ruins: Aspect of Ancestral Force (Barbarian) - Hammer of the Ancients quakes outward, dealing a percentage of its damage to enemies.
  • Howling Warren: Aspect of Arrow Storms (Rogue) - Lucky Hit; your Marksman skills have up to a 10% chance to create an Arrow Storm at the target location, dealing X damage over three seconds; you can have up to five active Arrow Storms.
  • Vault of the Forsaken: Requiem Aspect (Necromancer) - +3 maximum essence per active minion.
  • Penitent Cairn: Death Wish Aspect (Barbarian) - Gain X Thorns while Berserking.
  • Raethwind Wilds: Aspect of Inner Calm (General) - Deal 5% increased damage for each second while you're standing still; up to 30%.
  • Domhainne Tunnels: Aspect of Efficiency (Sorcerer) - Casting a basic skill reduces the cost of your next core skill by 10%.
  • Luban's Rest: Cheat's Aspect (Rogue) - Take 15% less damage from crowd-controlled enemies; gain +15% movement speed for two seconds whenever a crowd-controlled enemy deals direct damage.
  • Garan Hold: Aspect of the Dire Whirlwind (Barbarian) - +5% Whirlwind critical chance for every second that it's channeled, up to 20%.
  • Mariner's Refuge: Overcharged Aspect (Druid) - Lucky Hit; up to a 10% chance when dealing lightning damage to overload the target for three seconds; any direct damage you deal causes them to pulse and hit surrounding enemies.
  • Aldurwood: Aspect of Reanimation (Necromancer) - Your Skeletons gain increased damage while alive; up to 20% after 10 seconds.
  • Jalal's Vigil: Bladedancer's Aspect (Rogue) - Twisting Blades orbit for a short time after they return to you, dealing 10% of the damage per hit; can increase up to 20% based on the distance.
  • Sarat's Lair: Snowveiled Aspect (Sorcerer) - Casting Ice Armor makes you unstoppable for two seconds.
  • Oldstones: Edgemaster's Aspect (General) - Skills deal up to 10% increased damage based on your available primary resource when cast; maximum benefit (10%) when you have full primary resource.
  • Maddux Watch: Charged Aspect (Sorcerer) - +10% movement speed for four seconds when you collect Crackling Energy.
  • Hive: Aspect of Swelling Curse (Necromancer) - Bone Spirit deals increased damage based on the distance traveled, up to 15%.
  • Whispering Pines: Ballistic Aspect (Druid) - Earth skills gain +2 ranks when you have Fortify.
  • Stockades: Crashstone Aspect (Druid) - Earth skills deal +40% more damage to crowd-controlled enemies.
  • Broken Bulwark: Ghostwalker Aspect (General) - While unstoppable and for four seconds thereafter, gain +10% movement speed and the ability to move freely through enemies.
  • Demon's Wake: Aspect of Uncanny Treachery (Rogue) - Dealing direct damage to a dazed enemy with an Agility skill grants Stealth for four seconds; breaking Stealth with an attack grants +15% control impaired duration reduction for four seconds.

Dry Steppes Dungeons

Dry Steppes dungeons map

  • Shifting City: Ravenous Aspect (Rogue) - +50% energy regeneration for four seconds after killing a vulnerable enemy.
  • Pallid Delve: Elementalist's Aspect (Sorcerer) - Core or mastery skills cast above 100 mana have a 20% critical strike chance.
  • The Onyx Hold: Storm Swell Aspect (Sorcerer) - +11% increased damage to vulnerable enemies while you have a Barrier.
  • Seaside Descent: Aspect of Retaliation (Druid) - Core skills deal up to 20% increased damage based on your amount of Fortify.
  • Dark Ravine: Aspect of Might (General) - Basic skills grant 20% damage reduction for two seconds.
  • Path of the Blind: Aspect of Bursting Bones (Necromancer) - When a segment of Bone Prison is destroyed or expires, it deals X damage in an area around itself.
  • Mournfield: Aspect of Berserk Ripping (Barbarian) - Whenever you deal direct damage while Berserking, inflict 20% of the base damage as additional bleeding damage over five seconds.
  • Grinning Labyrinth: Aspect of the Calm Breeze (Druid) - Lucky Hit; Wind Shear has up to a 5% chance to restore your spirit.
  • Whispering Vault: Aspect of Unstable Imbuements (Rogue) - When casting an Imbuement skill, you trigger an Imbued explosion around yourself; applies the Imbuement effects and deals X damage around an area.
  • Forgotten Depths: Aspect of Biting Cold (Sorcerer) - When you freeze an enemy, there's a 25% chance that they become vulnerable for three seconds.
  • Carrion Fields: Aspect of the Iron Warrior (Barbarian) - Iron Skin grants unstoppable and 10% damage reduction.
  • Komdor Temple: Aspect of the Bounding Conduit (Sorcerer) - +20% movement speed for three seconds after casting Teleport.
  • Bloodsoaked Crag: Shepherd's Aspect (Druid) - Core skills deal +6% damage per active companion.
  • Sealed Archives: Aspect of Mending Stone (Druid) - +6 seconds to the duration of Earthen Bulwark; killing an enemy with an Earth skill replenishes X amount of your Earthen Bulwark's Barrier effect.
  • Charnel House: Aspect of Perpetual Stomping (Barbarian) - Damaging an enemy with Kick or Ground Stomp resets the cooldown of Leap.
  • Champion's Demise: Aspect of the Umbral (General) - Restore +1 of your primary resource whenever you crowd-control an enemy.
  • Ancient's Lament: Aspect of Volatile Shadows (Rogue) - When a Dark Shroud shadow would be removed, you trigger an explosion around yourself that deals X Shadow damage.
  • Guulrahn Canals: Trickster's Aspect (Rogue) - Caltrops also throw an exploding cluster of Stun Grenades that deal X physical damage and stun enemies for 0.5 seconds.
  • Guulrahn Slums: Splintering Aspect (Necromancer) - Bone Spear's primary attack causes enemies hit beyond the first to become vulnerable for 1.5 seconds; Bone Shards from Bone Spear deal 50% bonus damage to vulnerable enemies and pierce them.
  • Buried Halls: Rapid Aspect (General) - Basic skills gain +15% attack speed.
  • Betrayer's Row: Aspect of Potent Blood (Necromancer) - While at full life, Blood Orbs grant +10 essence.

Kehjistan Dungeons

Kehjistan dungeons map

  • Sepulcher of the Forsworn: Hulking Aspect (Necromancer) - Your Golem has a 1% chance to reduce its active cooldown by two seconds, and a 1% chance to spawn a corpse each time it damages an enemy with its normal attack.
  • Crumbling Hekma: Aspect of Splintering Energy (Sorcerer) - Lightning Spear has an 11% chance to spawn an additional Lightning Spear when cast.
  • Tomb of the Saints: Incendiary Aspect (Sorcerer) - Lucky Hit; Burning damage has an up to 5% chance to restore +10 mana.
  • Sunken Library: Aspect of Control (Sorcerer) - Deal +30% more damage to immobilized, stunned, or frozen enemies.
  • Shivta Ruins: Wind Striker Aspect (General) - Critical strikes grant +8% movement speed for one second, up to six seconds.
  • Collapsed Vault: Aspect of Cyclonic Force (Druid) - Cyclone Armor also grants physical damage reduction; Cyclone Armor is also applied to all nearby allies.
  • Inferno: Vengeful Aspect (Rogue) - Lucky Hit; making an enemy vulnerable has up to a 30% chance to grant +3% increased critical hit rate for three seconds, up to 9%.
  • Sirocco Caverns: Aspect of Echoing Fury (Barbarian) - Shout skills grant +2 fury per second while active.
  • Abandoned Mineworks: Aspect of Retribution (General) - Distant enemies have an 8% chance to be stunned for two seconds when they hit you; deal 20% increased damage to stunned enemies.
  • Halls of the Damned: Aspect of Disobedience (General) - Gain +0.25% increased armor for four seconds when you deal any type of damage; stacks up to 25%.
  • Fading Echo: Skinwalker's Aspect (Druid) - Gain X life when you use a Shapeshifting skill that changes your form; if you are at full life, gain the same amount as Fortify instead.
  • Yshari Sanctum: Needleflare Aspect (General) - Grants a 20% chance for Thorns damage to also affect all enemies around you.
  • Crusaders' Cathedral: Stormshifter's Aspect (Druid) - When Hurricane is active, gain +2 ranks to your Shapeshifting skills.
  • Prison of Caldeum: Opportunist's Aspect (Rogue) - When you break Stealth with an attack, drop a cluster of exploding Stun Grenades that deal X physical damage and stun enemies for 0.5 seconds.
  • Renegade's Retreat: Aspect of Corruption (Rogue) - Your Imbuement skill effects have 20% increased potency against vulnerable enemies.
  • Deserted Underpass: Torturous Aspect (Necromancer) - Enemies afflicted by Iron Maiden have a 15% chance to be stunned for one second whenever they deal direct damage.
  • Putrid Aquifer: Aspect of the Unwavering (Sorcerer) - Taking direct damage has a 2% chance to reset the cooldown of your defensive skills.
  • Forgotten Ruins: Iron Blood Aspect (Barbarian) - Gain 2% damage reduction for each nearby bleeding enemy; up to 10% maximum.
  • Uldur's Cave: Aspect of the Damned (Necromancer) - Deal +30% increased Shadow damage to enemies afflicted by Decrepify and Iron Maiden.
  • Corrupted Grotto: Aspect of Grasping Veins (Necromancer) - Gain +10% critical strike chance for six seconds when you cast Corpse Tendrils; deal +30% bonus damage to enemies affected by Corpse Tendrils.
  • Heretics Asylum: Veteran Brawler's Aspect (Barbarian) - Each time a core skill deals direct damage to an enemy, your next Charge or Leap deals +15% increased damage, up to 225%.
  • Conclave: Aspect of the Changeling's Debt (Druid) - Damaging a poisoned enemy with a Werebear skill instantly deals 120% of the poisoning damage and consume the effect.
  • Hakan's Refuge: Relentless Berserker's Aspect (Barbarian) - Lucky Hit; damaging an enemy with a core skill has up to a 22% chance to extend the duration of Berserking by one second; this duration is doubled if you land a critical strike with your core skill.

Hawezar Dungeons

Hawezar dungeons map

  • Oblivion: Aspect of Shared Misery (Rogue) - Lucky Hit; when you hit a crowd-controlled enemy, there is up to a 30% chance for that crowd-control effect to spread to other unaffected hostiles.
  • Shadowed Plunge: Aspect of Branching Volleys (Rogue) - The arrows from Barrage have a 15% chance to split into two more arrows when they ricochet.
  • Heathen's Keep: Aspect of Numbing Wrath (Barbarian) - Each point of fury generated while at maximum fury grants +3 Fortify.
  • Light's Refuge: Aspect of Bul-Kathos (Barbarian) - Leap creates an Earthquake that deals X physical damage over four seconds; while standing in an Earthquake, you gain +5% damage reduction.
  • Fetid Mausoleum: Snowguard's Aspect (Sorcerer) - While within your own Blizzard, you take 10% less damage.
  • Bastion of Faith: Trickshot Aspect (Rogue) - Whenever Penetrating Shot damages an enemy, two additional arrows split off to either side; these arrows deal 10% of Penetrating Shot's damage and do not split.
  • Lost Keep: Aspect of the Deflecting Barrier (General) - While you have a Barrier active, there is a 7% chance to ignore incoming direct damage from distant enemies.
  • Endless Gates: Aspect of the Rampaging Werebeast (Druid) - The duration of Grizzly Rage is increased by X seconds; critical strikes while Grizzly Rage is active increase your critical strike damage by 10% for the duration.
  • Earthen Wound: Aspect of Singed Extremities (Sorcerer) - After immobilize wears off, enemies are slowed by 25% for four seconds.
  • Blind Burrows: Aspect of the Tempest (Druid) - Hurricane damage is increased by 7% each second while it's active.
  • Maugan's Works: Earthstriker's Aspect (Barbarian) - After swapping weapons 10 times, your next attack will Overpower and deal 30% increased Overpower damage.
  • Iron Hold: Fastblood Aspect (Necromancer) - Blood Orbs reduce your ultimate skill cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
  • Akkhan's Grasp: Blighted Aspect (Necromancer) - Deal 50% increased damage for six seconds after the Shadowblight key passive damages enemies 10 times.
  • Steadfast Barracks: Vigorous Aspect (Druid) - Gain 10% damage reduction while Shapeshifted into a Werewolf.
  • Ruins of Eridu: Sacrificial Aspect (Necromancer) - Sacrifice bonuses are increased by 15%.
  • Leviathan's Maw: Aspect of Siphoned Victuals (Rogue) - Lucky Hit; damaging a vulnerable enemy with a core skill has up to a 10% chance to drop a Healing Potion.
  • Ghoa Ruins: Enshrouding Aspect (Rogue) - Gain a free Dark Shroud shadow every three seconds when standing still; each Dark Shroud shadow grants +2% increased damage reduction.
  • Witchwater: Prodigy's Aspect (Sorcerer) - Using a cooldown restores 15 mana.
  • Serpent's Lair: Aspect of Three Curses (Sorcerer) - Meteor deals +33% increased critical damage against healthy targets.
  • Faceless Shrine: Unyielding Commander's Aspect (Necromancer) - While Army of the Dead is active, your minions gain +70% attack speed and take 90% reduced damage.
  • Haunted Refuge: Brawler's Aspect (Barbarian) - Enemies damaged by Kick or Charge will explode if they are killed within the next two seconds, dealing X damage to surrounding hostiles.
  • Belfry Zakara: Aspect of the Ursine Horror (Druid) - Pulverize becomes an Earth skill; after casting Pulverize, tectonic spikes continue to deal X damage over two seconds.
  • Ancient Reservoir: Aspect of Ancestral Echoes (Barbarian) - Lucky Hit; damaging enemies with Leap, Upheaval, or Whirlwind has up to a 40% chance to summon an Ancient to perform the same skill; can only happen once every five seconds.

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ghostwalker in broken bulwark

Russian meteor's terrifying trek detailed in new studies

Image: Meteor flash

The 500-kiloton meteor flash that flared over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February was bright enough to cause sunburn, and the shock wave was strong enough to knock out cellphone service — but it could have been much worse, scientists say.

They say the asteroid that sparked the blast was a broken-up stone that blew apart at a high altitude, littering the area with less debris than would have been expected if it were made of sterner stuff such as solid rock, iron and nickel.

The details behind the spectacular Feb. 15 Chelyabinsk meteor explosion are laid out in three studies published by the journals Nature and Science. Among the findings that might give one pause: Debris from the asteroid shows signs that the rock was struck off from a bigger near-Earth object — and other pieces of that object are almost certainly still out there.

The teams behind the research reconstructed the meteor's path by analyzing amateur videos of the event, documenting patterns of damage on the ground and interviewing witnesses at the scene.

"It was a huge amount of work," Western University's Paul Wiegert, one of the astronomers behind the Nature studies, told NBC News. "It involved having people going out to the locations where it was observed, and even measuring the height of street lamps" to gauge the meteor's relative flight path.

How big? How powerful? The findings from two independent teams — relating to the asteroid's size and composition, as well as the energy release and its effects — were consistent with each other and with earlier studies. They agree that the asteroid was about 60 feet (19 meters) wide and broke up at an altitude of roughly 20 miles (30 kilometers), releasing about as much energy as 500 kilotons of TNT.

The team behind the Science paper, known as the Chelyabinsk Airburst Consortium, documented some of the blast's more exotic effects:

  • Witnesses heard the buzz of the meteor as it sped past, a phenomenon known as electrophonic sound .
  • For an instant, the meteor's flash was brighter than the sun, causing mild cases of sunburn and stinging eyes. More than 1,200 injuries were reported in Chelyabinsk, with many of them caused by flying glass.
  • The shock wave from the blast was strong enough to cut off electricity and cellphone connectivity, and trigger the brief shutoff of gas-supply valves in some districts.

Several tons' worth of material fell to Earth as debris, the consortium reported. That's well less than a thousandth of the asteroid's initial mass. About 76 percent of the asteroid is thought to have burned up in the atmosphere, and most of the rest ended up as dust.

Image: Chelyabinsk meteorite

Rubble pile? Both teams confirmed that the meteorites represented a rare type of stuck-together space rocks known as LL chondrites. One of the best-known examples of an LL meteorite is the asteroid Itokawa, which was visited and sampled by Japan's Hayabusa probe in 2005 . Such asteroids have been compared to loose rubble piles, held together by shock veins of metal.

A closer look at the surviving rocks led both teams to conclude that the asteroid behind the Chelyabinsk meteor had broken off from a larger asteroid, perhaps due to collisions with other space debris in the asteroid belt or a gravitational kick delivered during an earlier close encounter with Earth.

The researchers behind the Science paper said the asteroid was held together loosely, either due to cracks or a "weakly consolidated rubble pile morphology." But the scientists behind one of the Nature papers said it was "probably a fractured single stone and not a rubble-pile assemblage."

That Nature paper noted that the Chelyabinsk rock couldn't have been detected before the blast.

"The Chelyabinsk asteroid was simply too small to be seen at large distances from the Earth with current technology," Jiri Borovicka of the Astronomical Institute at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, told NBC News in an email. "It approached the Earth from the direction of the sun, but even if it came from the opposite direction, there would be high chance that it would have been missed by the current survey telescopes during the few days before the impact when it would be observable."

Other potential threats Borovicka and her colleagues suggest that the 1.4-mile-wide (2.2-kilometer-wide) asteroid 1999 NC43 was a bigger piece of the object that spawned the Chelyabinsk asteroid. "1999 NC43 is a potentially hazardous asteroid, so a collision with the Earth in a very distant future cannot be fully excluded," Borovicka said. "But there will be no collision in the next several centuries."

Peter Jenniskens, a meteor expert at the SETI Institute and NASA's Ames Research Center, said it was too much of a stretch to link the Russian meteor to 1999 NC43. In the Science paper, Jenniskens and his colleagues say instead that the Chelyabinsk asteroid probably started out in a group of asteroids known as the Flora family .

"The story starts with a debris field in the asteroid belt," Jenniskens told NBC News. "Those pieces continued to hit each other."

Based on an analysis of February's blast, plus similar airbursts going back to the 1908 Tunguska event , the consortium said the number of asteroids in the Chelyabinsk size range may be underestimated by a factor of seven or so. Astronauts and scientists are currently pressing for a  new generation of space-based telescopes that would improve coverage of these potentially deadly skies.

Update for 4:50 p.m. ET Nov. 6: Paul Chodas, an asteroid researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that previous estimates set the number of near-Earth asteroids in the Chelyabinsk size range at around 3 million to 4 million. After reading the newly published papers, Chodas told reporters that "the implication is there are seven times more, so on the order of 20 million."

The authors of one of the Nature papers provided a similar estimate: They noted that telescopic surveys have detected only 500 near-Earth asteroids in the 10- to 20-meter range (33 to 66 feet wide), out of a total estimated population of 20 million.

More about the Chelyabinsk meteor:

  • Meteorite breaks after recovery from Russian lake
  • Meteor lurked for millennia before hitting Russia
  • NBC News archive on the Russian meteor explosion

In addition to Borovicka and Wiegert, the authors of the Nature paper titled "The Trajectory, Structure and Origin of the Chelyabinsk Asteroidal Impactor" include Pavel Spurny, Peter Brown, Pavel Kalenda, David Clark and Lukas Shrbeny.

Borovicka, Brown and Spurny are also among the 33 co-authors of the Nature paper titled "A 500-kiloton Airburst Over Chelyabinsk and an Enhanced Hazard From Small Impactors."

The principal author of the Science paper, "Chelyabinsk Airburst, Damage Assessment, Meteorite Recovery, and Characterization," is Olga Popova of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Popova and Jenniskens are among the 59 co-authors listed with the Chelyabinsk Airburst Consortium. 

Alan Boyle is's science editor. Connect with the Cosmic Log community by "liking" the  NBC News Science Facebook page , following  @b0yle on Twitter and adding  +Alan Boyle to your Google+ circles. To keep up with's stories about science and space, sign up for the  Tech & Science newsletter , delivered to your email in-box every weekday. You can also check out  "The Case for Pluto," my book about the controversial dwarf planet and the search for new worlds.

February 15, 2023

The Asteroid Blast That Shook the World Is Still Making an Impact

The Chelyabinsk asteroid slammed into Earth’s atmosphere 10 years ago, the largest impact in more than a century

By Phil Plait

A rural landscape shown with a white cloud like streak across the sky which is identifies as the Chelyabinsk Meteor Trail.

Contrails left by the Chelyabinsk meteor over Russia.

Alex Alishevskikh

Ten years ago, as the sun rose over Chelyabinsk, Russia, the sky exploded.

On February 15, 2013, an asteroid slammed into Earth's atmosphere at nearly 70,000 kilometers per hour. Almost the size of a tennis court, it blazed brilliantly in the sky as if a second sun had appeared and begun racing from southeast to northwest .

Ramming through the air at hypersonic velocities blowtorched the surface of the asteroid, which left behind a thick trail of vaporized rock as it screamed over Earth. The immense pressure started to flatten it (scientists call this “pancaking”), and the force finally overcame the asteroid some 40 kilometers above the ground. It crumbled into smaller chunks, each one still traveling at more than a dozen times the speed of a bullet fired from a rifle. These fragments also pancaked, creating a series of brief but powerful flashes of light as they heated to incandescence. The remaining pieces vaporized.

All of this happened in mere seconds, with the ultimate blow occurring when the asteroid was about 30 kilometers up. The energy of its last motion was converted into heat in an instant. The resulting huge fireball briefly outshone the sun in the sky, emitting energy equivalent to the detonation of about half a million metric tons of TNT.

The shock wave from this explosion traveled away from the blast, taking about a minute and a half to reach downtown Chelyabinsk, roughly 40 kilometers to the north. The industrial city of a million people was just starting its day when the apparition blazed across the sky. The awesome spectacle and the long, lingering vapor trail brought people outside or to their windows to see what happened—and that's when the shock wave touched down.

A tremendous thunderclap shattered windows all over the city, and flying glass was the source of most of the injuries to the roughly 1,500 people harmed in the event. Fortunately, no one was killed, and infrastructure damage was relatively minimal. Had the asteroid been bigger or made of metal or if it had plunged downward at a steeper angle, this story could have been quite different, the aftermath far more severe.

Chelyabinsk was a wake-up alarm for Earth —a loud one.

It was also a major learning experience for scientists, as it was the largest known atmospheric impact since the Tunguska bolide in 1908 . The asteroid's smoking trail was viewed by satellites as well as by thousands of eyewitnesses and cameras. Meteorites rained widely, including one monster half-ton chunk 1.5 meters across that plunged into a frozen lake and was later recovered. There's even security-camera footage of that piece crashing, creating a dramatic plume of snow and water shooting up into the air.

The meteorites recovered from the event revealed the asteroid's violent history . Shock veins riddled them, leaving narrow fissures. These showed that the 19-meter-wide Chelyabinsk rock was once part of a much larger asteroid that itself had suffered an impact, which broke off the piece that smashed into Earth and cracked it throughout. Radioactive dating indicated that the first impact may have occurred as long as 4.4 billion years ago, when the solar system was less than 200 million years old. Those fissures in the Chelyabinsk rock weakened it, allowing it to more easily disintegrate high above the ground and create that massive shock wave. The ghostly fingers of an ancient deep-space impact had reached out and touched the lives of thousands of Russian people that day.

It's not clear which asteroid may have been the parent asteroid. Scientists traced the trajectory of the Chelyabinsk impactor backward into space and found consistent matches to asteroids 2007 BD7 and 2011 EO40 . One may be the parent body, but it remains uncertain.

An analysis of Chelyabinsk, together with smaller, lower-energy events, showed that these kinds of impactors affect us much more frequently than previously thought . A Chelyabinsk-size impact happens every 25 years or so, with most occurring over the ocean or wilderness areas, thankfully.

It's a bit alarming that astronomers didn't see this asteroid coming long before it hit us. But asteroids tend to be very dark, and small ones are extremely faint even when close to our planet. Just a few years earlier the four-meter-wide asteroid 2008 TC3 became the first one ever detected before striking Earth. Only six others have been discovered before impact since then, including 2023 CX1, which lit up the English Channel on February 13, 2023, as if marking the week's anniversary. All were small, posing no danger to us on the ground.

Now, after I've terrified you about impacts from these objects, comes the good news: we're getting much better at finding them. In the decade since Chelyabinsk, about 20,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered —more than had been found in all of history up to 2013. New survey telescopes such as Pan-STARRS and the Zwicky Transient Facility have come online, and better detection and analysis techniques have been developed that accelerated the rate of discovery. Soon the huge Vera Rubin Observatory and NASA's  NEO Surveyor space mission will also significantly boost the number of known Earth-threatening asteroids.

Finding them, though, is just the first step . Doing something about them is the next. To that end, in November 2021 NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which slammed a half-ton impactor into the 170-meter-wide asteroid Dimorphos—a moon of the larger asteroid Didymos. The momentum from the collision changed the orbital period of the asteroid by more than half an hour . That was an even bigger shift than had been predicted—a vast plume of material that the impact excavated and flung away from the asteroid's surface added a kick—showing that it's possible to use such a spacecraft to alter an asteroid's trajectory.

Bigger blasts might be able to divert an incoming space rock as well. Detonating a nuclear weapon near a small asteroid could vaporize much of its surface. This hot vapor would rapidly expand, acting like rocket exhaust and pushing the asteroid into a new and, one hopes, safer trajectory. Some issues regarding this method are still fairly difficult to overcome— it's currently illegal under the Outer Space Treaty to explode nuclear devices in space, for example —but a dangerous asteroid headed our way might grease the skids a bit on a political fix.

Since the Chelyabinsk impact, two spacecraft have not only approached small asteroids but also collected samples from them; one, Hayabusa2, already dropped off its samples back at Earth, and the other, OSIRIS-REx, will do so later this year. Both asteroids, Ryugu (roughly one kilometer across) and Bennu (500 meters across), are essentially rubble piles, loose collections of small rocks held together by their own meager gravity. It's likely all small asteroids are rubble piles, which will affect how we fend them off; their weak structures mean they can absorb the impact of a spacecraft more easily. Imagine trying to punch a box of packing peanuts, and you'll get the idea. The DART mission showed, however, that copious amounts of material are ejected after a collision, and that transfer of momentum can actually increase the effect of an impact .

Chelyabinsk caught us by surprise, and although such small impacts may still sneak past our guard, we're getting better at finding potential threats from space and learning what we can do if we find one with Earth in its crosshairs. Big, dangerous asteroids are rare, yet we need only look to Meteor Crater in Arizona to see why we need to take them seriously. The explosion from that impact, estimated as 10 to 40 megatons, carved a hole more than a kilometer across in the desert about 50,000 years ago, probably devastating the plants and animals living there at the time . This might be one of the most recent large direct impacts Earth has suffered, but it won't be the last.

Unless, of course, we do something to stop them.

This is an opinion and analysis article, and the views expressed by the author or authors are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Planetary Defense

Remembering the Chelyabinsk Impact 10 Years Ago, and Looking to the Future

ghostwalker in broken bulwark

On Feb. 15, 2013, the people of Chelyabinsk, Russia, experienced a shocking event, and yet it was a small fraction of the devastation an asteroid on a collision course with Earth could yield. As NASA’s Planetary Defense experts reflect on the Chelyabinsk impact 10 years ago, they also look forward to the future and all that the agency has since accomplished in the field of Planetary Defense.

Harmless meteoroids, and sometimes small asteroids, impact our planet’s atmosphere daily. When they do, they disintegrate and create meteors or “shooting stars” and sometimes bright fireballs or bolides. Such was the case on Feb. 12 when a very small asteroid impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Northern France soon after discovery, resulting in a spectacular light show for local onlookers. Much more rarely, a larger asteroid that is still too small to reach the ground intact, yet large enough to release considerable energy when it disintegrates, can do significant damage to the ground. On Feb. 15, 2013, one such bolide event garnered international attention when a house-sized asteroid impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, at a speed of eleven miles per second and exploded 14 miles above the ground. The explosion was equivalent to 440,000 tons of TNT, and the resulting air blast blew out windows over 200 square miles, damaged buildings, and injured over 1,600 people – mostly due to broken glass. Due to the asteroid’s approach from the daytime sky, it was not detected prior to impact, serving as a reminder that while there are no known asteroid threats to Earth for the next century, an Earth impact by an unknown asteroid could occur at any time.

Coincidentally, negotiations sponsored by the United Nations were finalizing formal recommendations for the establishment of Planetary Defense-related international collaborations – the International Asteroid Warning Network  (IAWN) and the  Space Missions Planning Advisory Group  (SMPAG) – when the Chelyabinsk impact occurred. Since then, NASA established the agency’s  Planetary Defense Coordination Office  (PDCO) in 2016 to oversee and coordinate the agency’s ongoing mission of Planetary Defense. This includes acting as a national representative at international Planetary Defense-related caucuses and forums, such as IAWN and SMPAG, and playing a leading role in coordinating U.S. government planning for response to an actual asteroid impact threat if one were ever discovered. The PDCO also funds observatories around the world through NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observations Program to find and characterize NEOs – asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth – with a particular focus on finding asteroids 460 feet (140 meters) and larger that represent the most severe impact risks to Earth. To help accelerate its ability to find potentially hazardous NEOs, NASA is also actively developing the agency’s NEO Surveyor mission , which is designed to finish discovery of 90 percent of asteroids 140 meters in size or larger that can come near Earth within a decade of being launched.

In 2022, working together with the Italian Space Agency, NASA’s   Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission successfully demonstrated the world’s first-ever test for deflecting an asteroid’s orbit. Launched in 2021 , DART successfully collided with a known asteroid – which posed no impact threat to Earth – demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology using a kinetic impactor spacecraft. Since DART’s impact, Planetary Defense experts have been continuing to analyze data returned from the mission to better understand its demonstrated effects on the asteroid, which contributes to the understanding of how a kinetic impactor spacecraft could be used to address an asteroid impact threat in the future if the need ever arose.

The Chelyabinsk impact was a spark that ignited global conversation in Planetary Defense, and much progress in the field has occurred since then. However, there is still more work to be done, and NASA is actively at the forefront. In addition to building NASA’s NEO Surveyor to find the rest of the population of asteroids that could pose a hazard to Earth, the agency is considering a “rapid response reconnaissance” capability to be able to quickly obtain a more detailed characterization of a hazardous asteroid once it is discovered. NASA is also considering sending out a reconnaissance spacecraft to study an asteroid making a close approach to Earth in 2029.

“A collision of a NEO with Earth is the only natural disaster we now know how humanity could completely prevent” said NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson. “We must keep searching for what we know is still out there, and we must continue to research and test Planetary Defense technologies and capabilities that could one day protect our planet’s inhabitants from a devastating event.”

Learn more about  NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office

Keep up to date on NASA’s Planetary Defense efforts by following Asteroid Watch on twitter

  • Five Years after the Chelyabinsk Meteor: NASA Leads Efforts in Planetary Defense
  • Around the World in Four Days: NASA Tracks Chelyabinsk Meteor Plume
  • Science Papers on Chelyabinsk Meteor Findings


  1. Ghostwalker Aspect Broken Bulwark Location Diablo 4

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  22. Diablo 4: Broken Bulwark (Ghostwalker Aspect) Location

  23. Remembering the Chelyabinsk Impact 10 Years Ago, and Looking to the

    On Feb. 15, 2013, the people of Chelyabinsk, Russia, experienced a shocking event, and yet it was a small fraction of the devastation an asteroid on a collision course with Earth could yield. As NASA's Planetary Defense experts reflect on the Chelyabinsk impact 10 years ago, they also look forward to the future and all that the agency has ...