Mystery Meteor Causes 2.1 Kiloton Explosion Near US Military Base

A meteor hit the earth last month, exploding with around 2.1 kilotons of force according to a tweet NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but the US Air Force has remained mum on the incident so far. 

The size of the object was unknown, but records indicate the meteor was traveling at around 24.4 kilometers per second (or about 54,000 MPH) when it struck the ground in Greenland, just a few miles away from Thule Air Base, which is an early warning missile base located there on July 25, 2018. 

Hans Kristensen, the Director of the Nuclear Information project for the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted about the impact. 

According to the original message sent by Twitter user "Rocket Ron," "A fireball was detected over Greenland on July 25, 2018 by US Government sensors at an altitude of 43.3 km. The energy from the explosion is estimated to be 2.1 kilotons."

The impact brings to mind the the Chelyabinsk meteor that struck the earth's atmosphere Feb. 15, 2013. Scientists say the impact could have been worse, as the meteor entered the atmosphere at a shallow angle, and largely disintegrated as it entered. At the time, Chelyabinsk was the largest meteor to hit the earth in modern time. 

Over 7,000 buildings and more than 1,500 people were injured by the impact - mostly from falling glass and debris. 

“The Chelyabinsk event drew widespread attention to what more needs to be done to detect even larger asteroids before they strike our planet,” said NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson. “This was a cosmic wake-up call.”

The 2013 incident prompted the International Asteroid Warning Network to help governments around the world detect and respond to Near Earth Objects. Fortunately, most asteroids are small enough to break apart upon entering the atmosphere, and harmlessly falling to the ground. 

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