SALT LAKE CITY — On Friday, NASA released new images of a fireball that exploded over Earth in December 2018.
According to NASA, the explosion, which happened 16 miles above the Bering Sea, unleashed an estimated 173 kilotons of energy (more than 10 times the energy of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima).
The “fireball,” which was captured in photographs by the Terra satellite on Dec. 18, was an exceptionally bright meteor that could be seen across a wide area of land, according to USA Today.Comment on this story
NASA reported that the image sequence of the event shows views from five of nine Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer cameras and shows the shadow of the meteor’s trail through Earth’s atmosphere as well as an orange-tinted cloud the meteor left behind.
According to NASA, it posed no threat to anyone on the ground.
"An event like this might occur two to three times a century," Lindley Johnson, a planetary defense officer at NASA, told USA Today.
The December “fireball” was the most powerful fireball to be spotted since 2013 when a meteor exploded in the Chelyabinsk region of Russia.