Tags: atlantic | meteor | blast | hiroshima

Atlantic Meteor Blast Big as a Hiroshima Bomb Not Noticed

Image: Atlantic Meteor Blast Big as a Hiroshima Bomb Not Noticed

An ice hole marks the point of impact of a meteorite over Russia in 2013. (REUTERS)

By    |   Friday, 26 Feb 2016 11:41 AM

A meteor exploded over the southern Atlantic Ocean with the power of the Hiroshima bomb in early February – and nobody noticed, according to the Huffington Post.

NASA reported the blast took place Feb. 6 as the meteor broke up the Earth's atmosphere about 600 miles off the coast of Brazil, said Discovery News. The meteor released energy equivalent to 13,000 tons of TNT.

The meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, which weighed about 10 tons, released the energy of about 500,000 tons of TNT, noted the Post.

"Don’t panic! As impacts go, this was pretty small," said Phil Phait, an astronomer who blogs on Slate.com. "After all, you didn't even hear about it until weeks after it occurred. Events this size aren't too big a concern. Had it happened over a populated area it would've rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don’t think it would’ve done any real damage."

NASA's Near Earth Objects Program tracks meteors, both big and small, that pop up in the Earth's atmosphere. "Near earth objects" are comets and asteroids that have been pushed by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood, says a NASA website.

Digital Trends said since there were no likely eyewitnesses in the middle of Atlantic Ocean, NASA had to depend on other data to confirm the meteor.

"Detection of the blast likely resulted from a combination of satellite imagery, atmospheric microphones, and seismic monitors, so even the people who initially stumbled upon this finding only had a series of data readings to work off of," said the site.

"What's maybe most chilling is the fact NASA (or any other agency, for that matter) has yet to perfect a method for detecting such meteors more than a few hours prior to impact."

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A meteor exploded over the southern Atlantic Ocean with the power of the Hiroshima bomb in early February – and nobody noticed.
atlantic, meteor, blast, hiroshima
310
2016-41-26
Friday, 26 Feb 2016 11:41 AM
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