After the Chelyabinsk asteroid exploded in Russia in 2013, nobody thought we would have another giant blast so soon, but as it turns out, this year on February 6th a huge fireball crashed over the Atlantic. Was anyone paying attention?
According to recent reports, a giant fireball crashed over the southern Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, exploding some 30 kilometers above it, yet no one seems to have noticed.
The explosion occurred at 9 a.m. (14:00 UTC) on the coast of Brazil and it is said to be the largest fireball crash to ever happen on Earth after the 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid devastated Russia.
If we were to compare it with explosives, this fireball’s energy was reportedly the equivalent of 13,000 tons of TNT and yet nobody heard or spotted it.
The Chelyabinsk explosion, on the other hand, had about 500,000 tons worth of energy while falling over Russian skies.
The space object that fell over the Atlantic was said to have a 5-7 meters width, while the one in Russia had almost 20 meters.
Granted, this one was not as big, nor as powerful as the Chelyabinsk firecracker, but the question still remains: How come nobody saw it when it happened or immediately after?
Astronomer Phil Plait decided to conduct some investigations on this issue and he managed to come up with an explanation.
According to the scientist, a big space object can have a blazing and Earth-shattering impact when it enters our atmosphere. If it is big enough, it first enters deep into our atmosphere before it burns.
Later, it compresses the gas, increases the meteoroid’s temperature and starts glowing. From then on, it can either evaporate or explode, which causes it to slow down or disappear completely.
If the space rock is much bigger than that, then it might shatter under the air’s powerful pressure. The remaining debris starts burning up into many small pieces, which is what happened with the Chelyabinsk asteroid.
The famous 2013 space rock blew up while it entered our atmosphere and then started glowing, thus causing an explosion-like phenomenon, making it possible for people to observe it while it was happening.
This recent incident, however, happened 1,000 kilometers from the coast, which is very far away from any human to see it with the naked eye, while the Chelyabinsk occurred in a location inhabited by over 1 million people.
Image Source: ScienceAlert