A meteor that exploded above the clouds above the Bering Sea in December was caught in the sky in front of the camera by NASA's eyes.
Just a few minutes after the meteor erupted on December 18, 2018, the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument captured the scene in a series of images aboard the Terra satellite.
Clearly visible is the shadow of the bolide (or the meteoristic explosion) as a dark streak on the clouds below.
If you look closely, you can also see the fiery orange cloud left by the meteor overheating the air at 115,200 km / h.
The explosion was the third strongest we have recorded since 1900. It exploded with 173 kilotons TNT – more than ten times the strength of the atomic bomb Hiroshima (15 kilotons).
It stands behind the Chelyabinsk explosion in 2013 (440 kilotons) and the Tunguska event of 1908 (at least 3 megatons).
However, since it was in a remote location, nobody was around to see it.
That's good – it also means that no one was in danger, unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor, which injured more than 1,200 people, mainly through glass that flew out of broken windows.
High-resolution copy: https://t.co/EXn8sFb556 pic.twitter.com/X54InkvMnl
– Simon Stolz (@simon_sat) March 19, 2019
Bolides are actually quite common, although they are usually much smaller. NASA has logged 775 atmospheric fireballs since 1988, most of them over the sea.