This image sequence of the MISR instrument aboard the Terra satellite was taken over the Bering Sea a few minutes after the explosion of a meteor on December 18, 2018. It shows the shadow of the meteor track and the orange cloud that left it. (NASA / GSFC / LaRC / JPL-Caltech, MISR Team)
A huge "fireball" was captured on the satellite on December 18, 2018, exploding about 16 miles above the Bering Sea, releasing a significant amount of energy.
NASA released on Friday, March 22, the images of fireball, the astronomical name for exceptionally bright meteorites that are spectacular enough to be visible in a wide range. The moment was captured by two powerful NASA instruments aboard the Terra Satellite The explosion unleashed an estimated 173 kilotons of energy, which is more than ten times the energy released by the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima during World War II, according to NASA. Press release.
The captured fireball was the most intense meteor since 2013.
On February 15, 2013, a 10,000-tonne meteor exploded 14 miles above Chelyabinsk, Russia. In contrast to previous events, the scientists had access to sensitive instruments of the nuclear power plant satellite Suomi. These instruments provided unprecedented data, allowing scientists to track and study the meteor cloud for months.
Before the fireball event in December, a giant Chelyabinsk was the only one in which a satellite had detected a meteor on a "visible" camera image Meteor in 2013, according to Scott Bachmeier, research meteorologist at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS ), University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A fireball of this magnitude is expected to occur only about two or three times every 100 years. NASA's NASA Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, told BBC News.
The fireball event went largely unnoticed because, according to BBC News, it was blown up over the Bering Sea off the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula.
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According to NASA's press release, the property posed no threat to anyone on the ground due to its altitude and the remote area it had encountered.
"Scientists estimate that around 48.5 tons of meteoritic material fall on the earth every day," NASA reported. "When a meteoroid survives its journey through the Earth's atmosphere and touches the ground, it is called a meteorite."
According to the NASA press release, fireballs are quite common. These events are recorded in the database of the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
NASA 's MODIS instrument aboard the Terra satellite captured this image in true color showing the remains of a meteorite passage. Dark shadows cast on thick white clouds on December 18, 2018. (NASA / GSFC)
Advances in satellite technology have made it possible to record events like this.
"Satellites used to take pictures of the globe every few hours, which reduced the chances that scientists could capture such a small event as a rocket launch or a meteor fireball," said Jesse Ferrell, Meteorologist and Social Media Manager.
Over the past five years, new satellites with enhanced camera technology have been launched into space.These new satellites provide near-world, high-resolution color images every 5 minutes, and in some cases, images are captured every 30 seconds.
Advances in Internet technology and cloud storage are now delivering this information in real-time with long-term archives that allow anyone to find satellite photos of events like this, "Ferrell said.
In addition to the photographs, modern instruments were able to spot lightning on today's satellites used for lightning detection. Ferrell said a meteor burned down over the earth.
Launched in 1999, the Terra Probe is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
On board the Terra probe are two instruments that have detected the fireball event, the Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) and the Moderate Resolution Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MODIS).
The image sequence shows views of five of nine cameras on the MISR instrument a few minutes after the fireball event. The sequence was recorded at 23:55 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
. The still picture was taken with the MODIS instrument. This is a true color image showing the remnants of the Meteor Passage. MODIS has taken the picture of the event at 23:50 UTC.