Huge fireball exploded above Atlantic oceanAmy Walsh (Author) Published Date : Feb 24, 2016 16:02 ET
A tiny chunk of interplanetary material plunged into Earth s atmosphere and burned up. It likely exploded about 30 kilometers above the Atlantic Ocean.
The huge fireball crashed into the Atlantic earlier this month and went almost unseen.
The event took place on February 6 at 14:00 UTC when a meteor exploded in the air 620 miles (1,000km) off the coast of Brazil. It released energy equivalent to 13,000 tons of TNT, which is the same as the energy used in the first atomic weapon that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. This was the largest event of its type since the February 2013 fireball that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, leaving more than 1,600 people injured.
The event was reported on the NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Fireball page, which lists some of the brightest such things.
Phil Plait from Slate.com states that it would ve been a dramatic sight to say the least. But, it happened about 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Brazil, ESE of Rio de Janeiro. That s far enough out over the ocean that it s unlikely anyone saw it.
Impacts like this happen several times per year on average, with most going unseen. The Earth is mostly water, and even where there s land, it s sparsely populated overall.
Fireballs and bolides are astronomical terms for exceptionally bright meteors that are spectacular enough to to be seen over a very wide area.
A meteoroid is generally defined as an asteroid or comet fragment that orbits the Sun and has an approximate size between ten microns and a meter or so. Meteors, or shooting stars, are the visible paths of meteoroids that have entered the Earth's atmosphere at high velocities. A fireball is an unusually bright meteor that reaches a visual magnitude of -3 or brighter when seen at the observer's zenith. Objects causing fireball events can exceed one meter in size. Fireballs that explode in the atmosphere are technically referred to as bolides although the terms fireballs and bolides are often used interchangeably.
Not much information is revealed by the source; just the time, direction, explosive yield.
Huge fireball exploded above Atlantic ocean