A huge fireball crashed into the Atlantic earlier this month – and went almost unseen. The event took place on February 6 at 14:00 UTC when a meteor exploded in the air 620 miles (1,000km) off the coast of Brazil. It released energy equivalent to 13,000 tons of TNT, which is the same as the energy used in the first atomic weapon that leveled Hiroshima in 1945. This was the largest event of its type since the February 2013 fireball that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, leaving more than 1,600 people injured.
That fireball measured 18 meters across and screamed into Earth’s atmosphere at 41,600 mph. Much of the debris landed in a local lake called Chebarkul. The Chelyabinsk fireball had 500,000 tons of TNT energy – 40 times more than the latest impact, according to Phil Plait. ‘As impacts go, this was pretty small,’ Plait writes in an in-depth report in his Slait blog. ‘After all, you didn’t even hear about until weeks after it occurred. READ MORE