A loud boom over the skies of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on January 1, 2022, was caused by a meteor exploding with the blast energy equivalent to 30 tons of TNT.
The event took place around 16:20 UTC (11:30 EST) but was not observable from the ground due to clouds.
Luckily, the Geostationary Lightning Mapper on the GOES-16 satellite picked up the explosion, confirming it as a culprit of the sounds heard.
Image credit: NASA Meteor Watch
A nearby infrasound station registered the blast wave from the meteor as it broke apart, enabling an estimate of the energy at 30 tons of TNT, NASA Meteor Watch said.
"If we make a reasonable assumption as to the meteor’s speed (72 400 km/h / 45 000 mph), we can ballpark the object’s size at about 90 cm (1 yard) in diameter, with a mass close to 500 kg (1 000 pounds)."
"Had it not been cloudy, the fireball would have been easily visible in the daylight sky – crude estimate indicates about 100 times the brightness of the Full Moon."
Meteor explosion over Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on January 1, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-16, RAMMB/CIRA, TW
Featured image: Meteor explosion over Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on January 1, 2022. Credit: NOAA/GOES-16, RAMMB/CIRA, TW
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!