5 "gutted" meteors that came to explode here on our planet

1 - South Atlantic Meteor

In early February, a celestial body - possibly rocky - about 5 meters in diameter entered the atmosphere of our planet at tens of kilometers per second. According to the astronomers who investigated the event, as the object penetrated toward the surface, its structure was pulverized thanks to the action of air, which was compressed and heated before the meteor.

The rock exploded 20 to 30 kilometers from the surface and scraped across Brazil, releasing an amount of energy equivalent to 13, 000 tons of TNT - similar to the detonation of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Luckily, everything happened over the sea and, curiously, no one even saw the meteor. We only learned of its explosive passage because of the atmospheric disturbances that were recorded after its destruction.

2 - Chelyabinsk Meteor

Three years ago, the inhabitants of the Chelyabinsk region of Russia were not so lucky as we Brazilians. At the time, a meteor penetrated the atmosphere and exploded in the sky, releasing an amount of energy equivalent to 500, 000 tons of TNT - or 30 times what was released when the Hiroshima bomb was detonated. The event damaged more than 1, 000 homes within a radius of nearly 90 kilometers and injured more than 1, 000.

According to estimates, the celestial object was 20 meters in diameter and traveled at a speed of 20 kilometers per second when it exploded. In addition, it was composed of iron, olivine and sulfites, and shockwaves began to be noticed 90 kilometers above the surface. The meteor began to crumble when it was about 80 kilometers high and finally exploded about 35 kilometers over Chelyabinsk.

3 - Meteor 2008 TC3

In the early hours of October 7, 2008, a meteor that was named “2008 TC3” penetrated the earth's atmosphere over Sudan, exploding in the sky with energy equivalent to the detonation of a thousand tons of TNT. According to scientists who investigated the event, the object was 4 meters in diameter, weighed 80 tons and traveled in the sky at 13 kilometers per second.

The meteor turned into a huge fireball that lit up the African sky, and its passage could be observed a thousand kilometers from where the blast occurred. The event was not as commented as the ones we described in the previous items, but it was very scientifically relevant because, unlike the Chelyabinsk meteor and what fell near Brazil, astronomers were able to detect, track and study the arrival of the 2008 TC3.

4 - Tunguska Meteor

Also known as the “Tunguska Event”, the incident involving the meteor that hit this Russian region (which is in Siberia) is one of the most famous that has ever been witnessed by man. It occurred on June 30, 1908 and resulted in an explosion equivalent to the detonation of 10 to 15 million tons of TNT - or a thousand times the energy released by the Hiroshima bomb.

Photo clicked in the region 10 years after the meteor explosion

The Tunguska meteor is estimated to be between 50 and 200 meters in diameter, and it exploded 5 to 10 kilometers from the surface. The event caused the destruction of a 2, 000 square kilometer forested area - many 80 meters high - as well as seismic tremors that were felt in Russia, Asia and Europe, and shockwaves that spread by region. Miraculously, no victims were registered.

5 - Barringer Meteor

The crater you can see in the image below, known as Barringer Crater, is a result of what happens when, instead of a meteor exploding into the atmosphere, it can maintain some of its physical integrity and collide with the Earth's surface.

The crater is in the Arizona desert, 170 meters deep and 1, 200 meters wide. Studies have shown that it was caused by the impact of a 50-meter-diameter celestial rock 50, 000 years ago - that is, when there were no humans in the region - that hit the surface at a speed of 13 kilometers per second and released an energy equivalent to the explosion of 10 megatons of TNT.

Do you remember more events caused by the explosion or impact of celestial rocks here on Earth? Comment on the Mega Curious Forum