The ten pound rock exploded with the force of 440 pounds of TNT.
On Sunday night, a meteor shot over Vermont before exploding with an explosion so powerful that people could hear it from miles away as it shook cars and buildings below.
The fireball, NASA Meteor Watch later announced on Facebook, was likely a chunk of a fragmented asteroid that flew over the Mount Mansfield State Forest at 42,000 miles per hour before exploding. The explosion became a public spectacle, according to CBS NewsBut otherwise it appears to have passed without incident, unlike one that landed in France last month.
The rock itself probably weighed about 10 pounds and was six inches wide, yet the explosion it caused when it broke released as much energy as 440 pounds of TNT, according to NASA.
The explosion itself likely occurred when the atmospheric pressure in front of the meteor and the reduced pressure of the vacuum behind it built up and became too much for the space rock to support, resulting in violent fragmentation.
Several stations on the ground even detected tremors caused by the explosion, as if it had caused an earthquake, all of which helped NASA identify and reconstruct the meteor’s structure, as they were unable to inspect it in person.
“Nice little fireworks, courtesy of Mother Nature,” NASA wrote.
READ MORE: Meteor passing over Vermont exploded so “violently” it shook buildings, says NASA [CBS News]
More about meteors: Scientists: Life on Earth probably started in meteor craters
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