It is not very often do we see such incidents where a meteor explodes with such power to shake entire buildings. In our memory was the Chelyabinsk event in Russia, and now a new encounter with a space rock has occurred in Vermont.
Earlier in the year, a meteorite shot over Vermont before exploding with a blast so powerful that people could hear it from miles away as it shook cars and buildings below.
The fireball, NASA Meteor Watch later announced on Facebook, was likely a piece of a fragmented asteroid that flew over Mount Mansfield State Forest at 41.600 miles per hour before exploding. The explosion became a public spectacle, CBS News reported, but otherwise appears to have passed without incident, unlike the one that struck France last month.
The Violent Explosion
The rock itself probably weighed about 2.20 pounds and measured 49 feet across, yet the explosion it caused when it broke apart released as much energy as 440 pounds of TNT, NASA reported.
The explosion itself probably occurred when the atmospheric pressure in front of the meteor and the reduced vacuum pressure behind it built up and became too much for the space rock to withstand, resulting in violent fragmentation.
Several stations on the surface even detected tremors caused by the explosion, as if it had caused an earthquake, all of which helped NASA identify and reconstruct the structure of the meteor since they were unable to inspect it in person.
“Nice little fireworks show, courtesy of Mother Nature,” NASA wrote.
Clearly, the guys at NASA have a better sense of humor than I do, as I would still be shaking in terror after this incident. Gladly, there’s nothing to lament after this incredible spectacle. But, as impressive as it was, I’ll be the first to say that I’d never want to experience that.