Published: Wed, March 27, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

NASA snapped that monster meteor fireball over the Bering Sea

NASA snapped that monster meteor fireball over the Bering Sea

On Friday, NASA released new images of a fireball that exploded over Earth in December 2018.

A massive meteorite explosion happened over the Bering Sea.

The footage shows the dark, streak-like shadow of the cloud tops.

The super-heated air turns the clouds to an orange tint in the meteor's wake.

The U.S. space agency says the blast featured an estimated 173 kilotons of energy, and that the series of images was made by two instruments aboard the Terra Satellite back on December 18, 2018.

A meteor that snuck by the world's telescopes and exploded over the Bering Sea was caught on camera after all.

Despite this power, the meteor was smaller than the space rocks on which NASA focuses its sky-scanning resources.

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The explosion unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II.

The space agency watches for near-Earth objects in the range of 460 feet (140 m) across and larger.

This was due to the explosion of a large meteor or say remnants of the meteor that was travelling all the way from space, burning like a huge fireball.

The other instrument, the Moderate Resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS), captured the true-color still image of the remnants of the meteor's passage, and it can be seen as a shadow against the white clouds.

Luckily for many, the meteor - commonly referred to as a bolide - crashed into the Bering Sea, a secluded location not inhabited by humans. The 440 kiloton explosion left around 1,500 people injured. The most dramatic fireball in recent memory was the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor, which streaked over Russian Federation and exploded about 18.5 miles (29.7 km) above the ground.

This fireball was the most powerful meteor to be observed after 2013; But thanks to the altitude at which the explosion occurred and also that the area of explosion was remote - the meteor posed no threat to anyone on the ground. This meteor exploded with the force of 3 megatons.

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