Giant Fireball Crashed Over Atlantic In Brazil, NASA
A huge meteor suddenly exploded on Feb 6 at about 621 miles, or 1,000 km off Brazil, releasing an energy equivalent of 13,000 tons of TNT. This is just about the amount of energy used in the atomic weapon that decimated Hiroshima in 1945, says Daily Mail.
Measuring 18 meters across and piercing through the earth's atmosphere at 41,600 miles per hour, the fireball landed in a local lake called Chebarkul, marking the largest event of its kind since the February 2013 fireball that crashed over Chelyabinsk, Russia. It had injured over 1,600.
The event was not noticed mainly because of its lesser impact. The Chelyabinsk fireball released 500,000 tons of TNT energy, about 40 times greater than the last one, as astronomer Phil Plait wrote in his blog.
"As impacts go, this was pretty small," Plait said. "After all, you didn't even hear about it until weeks after it occurred."
NASA has gone public with some information, on the fireball, yet it is too early to release information on the scale of the meteor.
NASA said that with the meteor disintegration proceeding at top speed, the result is what many call an "explosion," even though they are just witnessing the transformation of kinetic energy into light and heat.
"The increase in surface area means more heating and glowing, then those pieces break up and get smaller, and you get a runaway cascade," said a NASA researcher.