As NASA reported, the US Air Force recorded a massive meteor explosion in December 2018. It seems that a giant space rock exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere. Its blast was the second-largest one registered in 30 years and the most significant one since the Chelyabinsk event in 2013.
Suspiciously, the massive meteor flew unnoticed until it blasted when hit the Earth’s atmosphere over the Bering Sea, near Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula.
The meteor explosion was by ten times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped over Hiroshima, meaning that, in case of an impact, it could’ve wiped out an entire region of the Earth.
According to the planetary defense officer at NASA, Lindley Johnson, in an interview with BBC News, such a massive meteor explosion should only take place two or three times in 100 years.
Massive Meteor Explosion Detected by US Air Force In December 2018
On December 18th, at noon (Russia time) a giant space rock hit the Earth’s atmosphere with a speed of 32km/s on a steep trajectory of seven degrees, as BBC reported. The meteor exploded at 25.6km above the Bering Sea with an energy of 173 kilotons.
“That was 40% the energy release of Chelyabinsk, but it was over the Bering Sea, so it didn’t have the same type of effect or show up in the news,” explained Kelly Fast, the leader of the Near-Earth Objects programme at NASA.
NASA did not record the event, but the US military satellites captured the massive meteor explosion. The US Air Force announced NASA about it, and the US space agency began the investigation of the space rock blast.
While this massive meteor explosion did not produce damages, the fact that NASA had no clue that a space rock of that size is heading towards Earth is concerning. And that meteorite went unnoticed despite the US space agency’s struggle to keep track of any Near-Earth Objects.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.