A Meteor Just Exploded Over Cuba With the Energy of 1,400 Tons of TNT - Physics-Astronomy.org

A Meteor Just Exploded Over Cuba With the Energy of 1,400 Tons of TNT



Last week, local media reports indicated that a meteorite hit the Cuban town of Viñales after soaring across the Florida Keys, with residents reporting hearing a massive sonic boom as well as seeing a trail in the sky. The event was apparently picked up by the National Weather Service Key West’s radar some 26,000 feet off the ground, as well as caught on film by locals and a webcam in Ft. Myer connected to EarthCam.


Now we know just how powerful that event was. According to new data posted by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies and flagged by CNET, the object’s collision with the atmosphere released the energy of around 1.4 kilotons (1,400 tons) of TNT.

That may sound like a lot (and it is). But such events are relatively common, just usually pass without much fanfare. Roughly 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and humans are far from equally distributed over its land, meaning that many impacts go with few or no human eyewitnesses.

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