Asteroid With Force Of 10 Atomic Bombs Exploded Above Earth, And We Didn’t Even Know Is Scary

Asteroids are just fine when they stay in space, but the minute they come hurtling towards Earth we run scared. We know how massive they are, how much destruction they can cause, so it’s only natural.

Except, when a massive one struck us last month, you missed it.

As it turns out, on December 18 last year, the second-largest asteroid to hit Earth in 30 years came plummeting towards us. On a direct course for impact, the rock was doing a blistering 32km/s at a very steep angle

Thankfully for us though the meteorite, which was several metres long, exploded before it hit us, going up in a fireball about 25.6 km above the Earth’s surface.

The explosion however had an impact energy of 173 kilotons. To compare, the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had yields of 15 and 20 kilotons respectively.

“That was 40% the energy release of Chelyabinsk,”said Kelly Fast, the near-Earth objects observations program manager at NASA, referring to the major meteorite hit in Russia back in. “But it was over the Bering Sea so it didn’t have the same type of effect or show up in the news,”

It was actually the US Air Force that first detected the fireball in the sky thanks to its satellites. The information was then passed on to NASA, who managed to grab some pictures. See the fireball below?

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