NASA reveals secret city-killing METEOR hit Earth

18 Mars, 2019, 20:37 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The object was several metres in diameter

Lindley Johnson, a planetary defense officer for NASA, told the BBC on Sunday that an historic asteroid exploded in the Earth's atmosphere in December that had 10 times the energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

NASA has reported that a large meteor explosion over the Bering Sea, near Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula in December 2018 went unnoticed despite being second in power over the last 30 years of observations.

According to information just released by NASA, the blast, which occurred on December 18, is the biggest since the fireball over Chelyabinsk in Russian Federation six years ago. The meteor exploded at 25.6km above the Bering Sea with an energy of 173 kilotons.

The asteroid came through the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 32km/s on December 18, on a steep trajectory of seven degrees, BBC News reported.

An asteroid expert at NASA said that the latest meteor only had 40 per cent of the energy release as that of Chelyabinsk and it exploded over the Bering Sea, which is why it didn't cause a lot of buzz.

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Dr Fast was discussing the event here at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, near Houston, Texas.

Military surveillance satellites picked up on the blast as it happened, and NASA was notified of the event by the US Air Force. These types of blasts are dubbed "problems without passports" because they might impact entire regions if they come into contact with Earth's atmosphere. The real danger, NASA says, comes from near-Earth objects (NEOs) that have a diameter of more than 460 ft.

They said a monitoring system would need space-based observatories as well as ground telescopes to give it any chance of success.

Dr Amy Mainzer of the Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said: "The idea is really to get as close as possible to reaching that 90 per cent goal of finding the 140m and larger near-Earth asteroids given to Nasa by Congress".

To get a comprehensive map of all potential threats to Earth, researchers have estimated a couple of more decades through NeoCam and other projects.

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