Cosmic bombs really do have a way of putting things into perspective:
The meteor in question may have weighed all of one kilogram (2.2 pounds).
The much larger 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,000 miles of Earth today. It’s about the size of an Olympic swimming pool.
Have a nice day.
The new estimates are that the meteor was actually quite big — and the biggest object of its kind to hit the planet since the Tunguska blast in 1908:
Infrasound data collected by a network designed to watch for nuclear weapons testing suggests that today’s blast released hundreds of kilotonnes of energy. That would make it far more powerful than the nuclear weapon tested by North Korea just days ago and the largest rock crashing onto the planet since a meteor broke up over Siberia’s Tunguska river in 1908.
“It was a very, very powerful event,” says Margaret Campbell-Brown, an astronomer at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, who has studied data from two infrasound stations near the impact site. Her calculations show that the meteoroid was approximately 15 metres across when it entered the atmosphere, and put its mass at around 7,000 metric tonnes. “That would make it the biggest object recorded to hit the Earth since Tunguska,” she says.
Now THAT’s a rock.