NASA published satellite photos of a mysterious and powerful meteor which appeared in the sky in December and released 10 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, but somehow wasn’t seen by anybody at the time.
The elusive meteor released about 173 kilotons of energy as it smashed through the Earth’s atmosphere at about 115,200kph (71,600mph). It’s the most powerful meteor to hit Earth since 2013, when the Chelyabinsk meteor struck in Russia.
Images taken minutes after the December 2018 meteor hit show the shadow of the fireball’s trail in the sky, where it appeared over the Bering Sea off Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and turned the clouds orange.
NASA captured images on its Terra satellite, with five of the of nine cameras on the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) capturing a series of photographs about seven minutes after the meteor hit the atmosphere. The space agency then used those snaps to create a GIF.
A still true color image was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS) instrument, and shows the remnants of the meteor’s path as a dark shadow cast on the clouds.
The US space agency wasn’t the first to photograph the powerful meteor, however, as a Japanese weather satellite published its image of the burning debris this week.
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