Latest News Editor's Choice

Technology / Science

NASA reveals massive meteor crashed into the Atlantic ocean

by Tech Reporter
25 Feb 2016 at 06:48hrs | Views
NASA has revealed that a massive meteor crashed into the Atlantic ocean earlier this month with the force equivalent to an atomic bomb. However nobody had a clue that it had happened.

Despite having the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb (around 13,000 tons of TNT), this particular fireball was actually pretty small, exploding over the South Atlantic ocean on February 6.

Travelling at anywhere over 33,000mph these objects will superheat, compress and then 'vaporise' many kilometres above the Earth's surface.

It's this process which causes the huge release of energy and in the case of Chelyabinsk, caused almost a city's worth of windows to shatter, injuring thousands in the process.

As astronomy blogger Phil Plait points out this occurrence, while dramatic, is actually not that uncommon.

"Impacts like this happen several times per year on average, with most going unseen."

So why hasn't a city or populated area been hit by a meteor yet? Well Plait has a beautifully simple answer:

"The Earth is mostly water, and even where there's land, it's sparsely populated overall."

Despite worries of population overcrowding, the human race is not as big a target for potentially devastating meteors as we'd like to think.

That said, NASA still runs the Near Earth Object Program, an initiative which tracks thousands of objects which could potentially collide with Earth over the next 100 years.