Last March a meteor was seen to explode above the earth with ten times the force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It is said to be the biggest since a meteor exploded, above the Russian town of Chelyabinsk seven years ago, weighing 11,000 tons and which screamed into the earth’s atmosphere at 41,000 mph before exploding. This latest fireball hit at 11.50 pm on 28 December, 16 miles above the Baring Sea, in the far north of the Pacific Ocean connecting Asia and North America.
Despite exploding with such force, it was only spotted last March by a meteor scientist from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Professor Peter Brown noticed the meteor in measurements picked up by at least 16 monitoring stations. ‘Impacts with this energy occurs somewhere on earth every few decades on average,’ he wrote on Twitter. The meteor is said to have been 10 metres across, with a mass of 1,400 tons. The massive fireball it caused came from energy the equivalent of 173 kilotons of the explosive TNT. Japan’s Himawari satellite caught the smoke trail which was almost vertical, showing the meteor entering the atmosphere extremely steeply.
Dr Simon Proud, from Oxford University, also posted pictures of the fireball, writing: ‘The meteor is really clear here – bright orange fireball against the blue and white background. This was over 10 times more powerful than Hiroshima, but it went unnoticed – that’s quite amazing. The meteor seems to have arrived with no warning and with all the sensors, we did not see it. Technology is improving but we have a long way to go before we can detect all meteor hazards heading our way.’
What a frightening prospect if such a meteor of this unbelievable force were to hit the earth especially a huge city like London or New York with such devastating consequences. We must never ignore the forces of nature to which we are exposed at any time and that can bring havoc and destruction at a level which perhaps we’ve never seen so far.
Let’s pray the Lord that this never happens.