Massive meteorite burns up over the Atlantic - almost unnoticed

The largest space rock since the dramatic impact of a meteorite over Russia's Chelyabinsk two years ago burned up over the Atlantic almost unnoticed on February 6, reports said Wednesday.

Recordings by the US space agency NASA show that the heavenly object entered the Earth's atmosphere 1,800 kilometres off the coast of Brazil and some 30 kilometres above sea level.

The meteorite's impact with the Earth's atmosphere - when it likely exploded - released the equivalent energy of 13,000 tons of TNT.

The effects of the impact were comparatively small, according to science blogger Phil Plait writing in the US magazine Slate.

"Had it happened over a populated area it, would've rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don't think it would've done any real damage," Plait wrote.

In contrast, the impact wave from the meteorite that exploded in the region of Chelyabinsk in the Russian Ural mountains in February 2013 thousands of buildings. Shattered glass injured some 1,500 people in that event.

Experts say the Chelyabinsk meteorite weighed 10,000 tons, measured 20 metres in diameter and released the equivalent energy of 500,000 to 600,000 tons of TNT, or 30-40 times the power of the atom bomb that fell on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

Last update: Wed, 24/02/2016 - 17:41

More from World

Car bombing in Baghdad kills at least four, injures 10

A car bomb exploded Saturday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing at least four civilians, police and witnesses...

Egypt's top court revokes police power on protests

Egypt's top court has quashed power granted to police to ban street protests.

Indonesian police release seven accused of treason

Indonesian police on Saturday released seven people, including two former generals and a rock star, a day after they...

Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashes into sea

An Indonesian police plane carrying 13 people crashed into the sea on Saturday, police said. 

At least 17 dead in latest Chinese coal mine accident

An explosion has killed at least 17 workers at a coal mine in northern China and 10 miners remain trapped, state...