On Motherboard, Daniel Oberhaus looks at Spaceguard (official name NEOO, Near Earth Object Observation program), an organization in charge of preventing mass-extinction by asteroid, hampered by lack of funding and organizational bureaucracy.
[...] Traveling at approximately 40,000 mph when it entered Earth’s atmosphere, the meteor burst at an altitude of about 97,000 feet and released about 500 kilotons of energy—roughly 25 times more energy released by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Not only was the meteor’s arrival something of a surprise to scientists and civilians, it also managed to injure at least 1200 people in the fallout produced by its shockwave.
Such damage must’ve been the result of a pretty huge meteor, right? Not at all—this meteor was only around 20 meters in diameter.
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