A massive fireball fell into the southern Atlantic Ocean during first week of February. The incident that took place on February 6 was noticed by a NASA engineer and after initial review, NASA has confirmed the incident. However, the fireball was much smaller in size compared to Chelyabinsk explosion in Russia in 2013.
Experts have said that the fireball was the largest one to hit the planet since the Chelyabinsk explosion that took place in February 2013. The February 6 incident took place at around 9am EST off the coast of Brazil.
The fireball was having energy equivalent to 13,000 tons of TNT. If compared with the Chelyabinsk explosion, it had energy of 500,000 tons as it passed through the skies of Ural Mountains. The space rock is estimated to be around 5-7 meters in width. When compared with the rock that caused the Chelyabinsk explosion, it was almost 20 meters in width.
Experts have said that the latest event seems to be a repeat of the Chelyabinsk. The February 6 event took place around 1,000 kilometers away from the coast. “That’s far enough out over the ocean that it’s unlikely anyone saw it”, affirmed experts.
NASA came to know about the incident though the military, which is always in the lookout for explosions in the air owing to safety reasons. But NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory received quite limited information.
Impacts like these happen numerous times in a year. Earth is covered by water bodies at majority of region and the space rocks crash into oceans without much of damage. Though being common, there is a need to come up with better ways to detect such events.