The small, harmless, 4-meter near-Earth asteroid – now designated 2019 MO – created this bright flash when it struck Earth’s atmosphere on June 22, 2019, over the Caribbean. Images via RAMMB/CIRA/Colorado State University.
Scientists have confirmed a meteor impact with Earth’s atmosphere over the Caribbean last weekend. The bright flash was detected by by NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite and other meteorological satellites, showing the event occurred on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at around 5:25 p.m. EDT (21:25 UTC) some 170 miles (274 km) south of Puerto Rico. Astronomer Peter Brown, a meteor expert from Western University in Ontario, Canada, said that an infrasound station located in Bermuda did detect airwaves produced by the space rock’s impact in the atmosphere. The object is believed to have been a small asteroid, and it was unusual in that it was detected prior to its impact – in the hours before – by the Atlas (Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System) in Hawaii. Brown said the impact was:
Consistent - Kilotons - Energy
… consistent with 3 to 5 kilotons (of energy).
By contrast, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, exploded with an energy of about 15 kilotons of TNT. Both the energy released, as well as the observations made from the Atlas Observatory, suggest the June 22 space rock was about 13 feet (4 meters)...
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