Credit: ESA – P.Carril


THE WOODLANDS, Texas – The Earth was on the receiving end of a little-noticed intruder back in late 2018. A hefty space rock detonated over an isolated stretch of the Bering Sea, between Russia and Alaska.

The blast occurred at roughly 16 miles above the ocean, yielding an energetic, high-altitude punch judged to be 40 percent the energy release of the destructive February 2013 meteor blast over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

This late news bombshell was unveiled here by Kelly Fast, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations program manager, during a media briefing on NASA’s planetary defense programs prior to the start of this week’s 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

For more details, go to my new Scientific American story:

Huge Meteor Explosion a Wake-Up Call for Planetary Defense

Detonating over the Bering Sea, the blast was as powerful as a nuclear bomb


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