Nasa Calls Meteor Eruption "Huge Event" - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

NASA Calls Meteor Eruption "Huge Event"

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Courtesy: Lisa Warren Courtesy: Lisa Warren
Chris Ciarlo
Channel 2 News

If you heard a large boom just before 8am Sunday, you weren't alone.

Dr. Bill Cooke with the Lead, NASA Meteroid Environments Office said the meteor eruption caused quite the commotion.

Cooke said the meteor's energy was a whopping 3.8 kilotons of TNT. That's about one fourth of the "little boy" bomb, which was dropped on Hiroshima during WWII.

"This meteor was about the size of a minivan and had a mass somewhere around 70 metric tons. So if you can imagine a boulder about the size of a minivan with mass of 70 tons, you get a pretty good idea what the meteor was like."

NASA believes the meteor exploded in the atmosphere over California, somewhere between Sacramento and Fresno.

Cooke said the meteor was probably moving at about 33,000 miles per hour.

He said it probably came from the asteroid belt and exploded in the upper atmosphere and spread meteorites in eastern California, near the Nevada border.

I asked Cooke what was the loud boom everyone heard?

"When they get low in the atmosphere, the pressure in front of them builds up to the point where the meteor simply breaks apart and it does so violently it creates an explosion. The sound you heard was probably build up from that over pressure and the shock wave generated from that explosion."

Cooke said you would think they are dangerous, but in all of recorded history, only one person has ever been hit a meteorite.

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