Meteor Russia Video, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported, “The Russian fireball is the largest reported since 1908, when a fireball hit Tunguska, Siberia.”
The fireball entered the atmosphere at about 40,000 mph (18 kilometers per second). The impact time was 7:20:26 p.m. PST, or 10:20:26 p.m. EST on Feb. 14 (3:20:26 UTC on Feb. 15), and the energy released by the impact was in the hundreds of kilotons.
Based on the duration of the event, it was a very shallow entry. It was larger than the fireball over Indonesia on Oct. 8, 2009. Measurements are still coming in, and a more precise measure of the energy may be available later. The size of the object before hitting the atmosphere was about 49 feet (15 meters) and had a mass of about 7,000 tons.
Later in the day, NASA released more information about the meteor.
#RussianMeteor grazed across the atmosphere, where the meteor trail was visible for ~30 secs. The meteor was also brighter than the Sun
- NASA (@NASA) 15 Feb 13
Our colleague Henry Fountain reminds us of the vastly greater impact of what’s known as The Tunguska Event on 1908.
Several clips showed a flaming object streaking through the sky and a burst of blinding light followed by a smoke trail. One, shot by a driver named Alexander Mezentsev, showed a bright light over a city street in Chelyabinsk, a city of 1 million about 900 miles east of Moscow.