List of meteor air bursts

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Many explosions have been recorded in Earth's atmosphere that are likely caused by the air burst that results from a large meteor burning up as it hits the atmosphere. The best known, and most spectacular was the 1908 Tunguska event. Witnesses describe most of these explosions as preceded by the appearance of a meteor-like object.[citation needed]

Date Location Coordinates Yield of explosion (TNT equivalent) Height of explosion Notes
November 15, 1859 (1859-11-15) Near New York City in United States The meteor was witnessed by many in the region, including residents of New York City, as it passed overhead. The fireball exploded over Toms River, New Jersey. The concussion from the explosion shook houses miles from the epicenter. The sound from the explosion lasted for nearly two minutes, and was described as continuous cannon fire.[1][2]
November 13, 1872 (1872-11-13) Near the Seven Stones reef, off Cornwall in United Kingdom 50°033′00″N 6°04′00″E / 50.55000°N 6.06667°E / 50.55000; 6.06667 Exploded over the lightvessel, at 2 am, "showering the deck with cinders."[3]
March 12, 1899 (1899-03-12) Near Helsinki in Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire 20 km (12 mi) Produced the largest amount of meteoritic debris ever found on Finnish soil, weighing 328 kilograms in total.[4] The heaviest single meteorite weighs 80 kilograms and it is currently located in the Finnish museum of natural history.[citation needed]
June 30, 1908 (1908-06-30) 60 kilometres (37 mi) west-northwest of Vanavara[5] in Yeniseysk Governorate, Russian Empire 60°53′09″N 101°53′40″E / 60.88583°N 101.89444°E / 60.88583; 101.89444 10–15 megatonnes of TNT (42,000–63,000 TJ) 8.5 km (5.3 mi) Tunguska event
November 26, 1919 (1919-11-26) Southern Michigan and Northern Indiana, USA 42°N 86°W / 42°N 86°W / 42; -86 A gigantic meteor was seen approaching from the east. A brilliant flash of light, thunder and an earthquake lasting 3 minutes were reported. Considerable damage to property and broken windows were reported over a very large area as well as disruption to telegraph, telephone and electrical power systems.[6]
August 13, 1930 (1930-08-13) Curuçá River Area, Amazonas, Brazil 5°11′S 71°38′W / 5.183°S 71.633°W / -5.183; -71.633 (one 1 km structure) 0.1–5.0 megatonnes of TNT (420–20,920 TJ) Generally assumed to be generated by three meteors, but only one crater of 1 km was found on the ground.[7][8][9][10] It is also known as Brazilian Tunguska or Curuçá Event.[11]
December 8, 1932 (1932-12-08) Arroyomolinos de León, Spain 38°01′00″N 6°25′00″W / 38.01667°N 6.41667°W / 38.01667; -6.41667 190 kilotonnes of TNT (790 TJ) 15.7 km (9.8 mi) Connected to the δ-Arietids meteor shower.[12]
June 24, 1938 (1938-06-24) Chicora, Pennsylvania United States On June 24, 1938 a meteorite fell in the vicinity of Chicora. Named the "Chicora Meteor", the 450+ tonne meteorite exploded approximately twelve miles above the Earth's surface.[13][14]
April 9, 1941 (1941-04-09) Ural mountains, Katav-Ivanovo district of Chelyabinsk region Russia ru:Катавский болид (Katavsky bolide). Residents of several localities had seen a fireball flying at a high speed in the dark sky, followed by roaring likened to the sound of a speeding steam locomotive. Fragments were left as a result of the event.[citation needed]
February 12, 1947 (1947-02-12) Sikhote-Alin Mountains in eastern Siberia, Primorsky Krai, Russia 46°09′36″N 134°39′12″E / 46.16000°N 134.65333°E / 46.16000; 134.65333 10 kilotonnes of TNT (42 TJ) Sikhote-Alin meteorite. Estimated explosive yield of 10 kt equivalent.[15]
August 3, 1963 (1963-08-03) Approximately 1,900 kilometres (1,200 mi) south of South Africa 51°S 24°E / 51°S 24°E / -51; 24 176–356 kilotonnes of TNT (740–1,490 TJ) A bolide was detected infrasonically approximately 1,100 kilometres (680 mi) west-south-west of the Prince Edward Islands off the coast of South Africa by a U.S. government instrument network designed to detect atmospheric explosions.[16]
March 31, 1965 (1965-03-31) Revelstoke, British Columbia 0.6 kilotonnes of TNT (2.5 TJ) 13 km (8 mi) 1 g (0.035 oz) material from meteorite found. Sometimes placed in Southeastern Canada on May 31.[17]
September 17, 1966 (1966-09-17) Lake Huron, MichiganOntario 0.6 kilotonnes of TNT (2.5 TJ) 13 km (8 mi) No material from meteorite found. Photographed bolide body.[18]
February 5, 1967 (1967-02-05) Vilna, Alberta 0.6 kilotonnes of TNT (2.5 TJ) 13 km (8 mi) Two very small fragments found - 48 milligrams (0.0017 oz) and 94 milligrams (0.0033 oz). Stored at University of Alberta, in Edmonton.[19] Photographed.[20]
January 19, 1993 (1993-01-19) Lugo, Northern Italy >10 kilotonnes of TNT (42 TJ) 30 km Assumed to be a meteoroid airburst caused by the breakup of a low density meteoroid traveling at approximately 26 km/s.[21]
January 18, 1994 (1994-01-18) Cando, Spain Cando event
February 1, 1994 (1994-02-01) 300 km south of Kosrae, Micronesia 2.6°N 164.1°E / 2.6°N 164.1°E / 2.6; 164.1 11 kilotonnes of TNT (46 TJ) 21–34 km (13–21 mi) Marshall Islands fireball. Two fragments exploded at 34 km and 21 km of altitude. This impact was observed by space based infrared (IR) sensors operated by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and by visible wavelength sensors operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).[22]
December 9, 1997 (1997-12-09) 150 km south of Nuuk, Greenland 62°54′N 50°06′W / 62.900°N 50.100°W / 62.900; -50.100 >0.064 kilotonnes of TNT (0.27 TJ) >25 km (16 mi) One airburst at 46 km, three more breakups detected between 25 and 30 km. No remains found so far. Yield only based on luminosity, i.e. the total energy might have been considerably larger.[23]
January 18, 2000 (2000-01-18) over Whitehorse, Yukon 60°43′N 135°03′W / 60.717°N 135.050°W / 60.717; -135.050 Unknown Unknown One airburst at 8 am, fragments recovered on Taglish Lake.[24]
June 6, 2002 (2002-06-06) Mediterranean Sea, 230 km north-northeast of Benghazi, Libya 34°N 21°E / 34°N 21°E / 34; 21 12–20 kilotonnes of TNT (50–84 TJ)[25][26] Eastern Mediterranean event
September 25, 2002 (2002-09-25) The Vitim River basin near the town of Bodaybo, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia 58°16′N 113°27′E / 58.27°N 113.45°E / 58.27; 113.45 0.2–0.5 kilotonnes of TNT (0.84–2.09 TJ) Vitim event or Bodaybo event
September 4, 2004 (2004-09-04) 200 km offshore Queen Maud Land, Antarctica 69°S 27°E / 69°S 27°E / -69; 27 12 kilotonnes of TNT (50 TJ) 28–30 km (17–19 mi) Coordinates are for dust trail observed an hour after event by NASA's Aqua satellite. Event was observed also by military satellites and by infrasound stations. Dust was observed 7 hours after event by LIDAR in Davis Station.[27]
September 28, 2007 (2007-09-28) Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland 40 km (25 mi) Superbolide that was observed as far as northern Lapland.[28] Meteoritic material was suspected to have landed southeast of Oulu but none has been found.[citation needed]
October 7, 2008 (2008-10-07) Nubian Desert, Sudan 20°48′00″N 32°12′00″E / 20.80000°N 32.20000°E / 20.80000; 32.20000 0.9–2.1 kilotonnes of TNT (3.8–8.8 TJ) 37 km (23 mi) 2008 TC3
October 8, 2009 (2009-10-08) coastal region of Bone Regency in South Sulawesi, Indonesia 04°30′00″S 120°00′00″E / 4.50000°S 120.00000°E / -4.50000; 120.00000 31–50 kilotonnes of TNT (130–210 TJ) 25 km (16 mi) No meteoritic material found (most likely fell into the ocean).[29] Occurred ~3:00 UTC; ~11:00 am local time.[29]
April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) air burst centered near La Grange, California 37°6′N 120°5′W / 37.100°N 120.083°W / 37.100; -120.083 4 kilotonnes of TNT (17 TJ) [30] 30–47 km [31] Sutter's Mill meteorite. Numerous fragments from object recovered. Analysis determined it was a Carbonaceous chondrite.
February 15, 2013 (2013-02-15) near Chelyabinsk, Russia 54°30′N 61°30′E / 54.500°N 61.500°E / 54.500; 61.500 500 kilotonnes of TNT (2,100 TJ) [32] Estimated 30–50 km [33] Chelyabinsk meteor[34]
November 26, 2013 (2013-11-26) heard in Montreal, Ottawa, and New York state[35][36][37][38] < 1 tonne of TNT (< 4.2 GJ)[39] Montreal bolide

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ American Journal of Science and Arts
  2. ^ The Western Review of Science and Industry
  3. ^ "Seven Stones Lightvessel". Engineering Timelines. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  4. ^ Jarmo Moilanen Collection - Meteorites
  5. ^ Traynor, Chris (1997). "The Tunguska Event". Journal of the British Astronomical Association 107 (3). 
  6. ^ The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.) 1919 Nov 27 page 1b
  7. ^ No. 1102: METEORITE AT CURUÇA By John H. Lienhard The Engines of Our Ingenuity
  8. ^ THE EVENT NEAR THE CURUÇÁ RIVER. 67th Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting (2004)
  9. ^ The Day the Earth Trembled by John McFarland Armagh Observatory
  10. ^ http://www.comciencia.br/reportagens/espaco/espc17.htm
  11. ^ http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/metsoc2004/pdf/5150.pdf
  12. ^ Historical Records of δ-Arietids Superfireballs Over Spain by J.M.Madiedo and J. M. Trigo-Rodríguez 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2011)
  13. ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicora,_Pennsylvania#Chicora_Meteor
  14. ^ http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/3495296-74/meteor-chicora-1938
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Estimates of meteoroid kinetic energies from observations of infrasonic airwaves" Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 68 (2006) pages 1136–1160 [2]
  17. ^ Kusky, Timothy M.; Katherine E. Cullen (2010). Encyclopedia of Earth and space science. New York, NY: Facts on File. p. 147. ISBN 1438128592. 
  18. ^ Halliday, Ian (December 1966). "The Bolide of September 17, 1966". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 60: 257. 
  19. ^ Grady, Monica (2000). Catalogue of Meteorites. Cambridge University Press. p. 514. ISBN 9780521663038. 
  20. ^ Folinsbee, R. E.; Bayrock, L. A., Cumming, G. L., & Smith, D. G. W. "Vilna Meteorite-Camera, Visual, Seismic and Analytic Records". Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 63: 61. 
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ [4]
  23. ^ Greenland meteor at goes.gsfc.nasa.gov
  24. ^ [5]
  25. ^ Near-Earth objects dangerous, general says BBC News, September 9, 2002.
  26. ^ Cambridge Conference Correspondence. Asteroids 'could spark a nuclear war'
  27. ^ Cosmic hole-in-one: capturing dust from a meteoroid's fiery demise Australian Antarctic Magazine, issue 8 Autumn 2005
  28. ^ http://yle.fi/uutiset/super-meteor_lights_up_northern_sky/5803349
  29. ^ a b Yeomans, Don, et al. "Asteroid Impactor Reported over Indonesia". Near Earth Object Program Office. NASA-NEOP. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  30. ^ http://www.rgj.com/article/20120423/NEWS/304230032/Scientist-says-sound-signal-from-exploding-meteor-lasted-18-minutes
  31. ^ http://science.kqed.org/quest/2012/12/20/stardust-and-sunbreath-in-the-sutters-mill-meteorite/
  32. ^ http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2013-061
  33. ^ "Meteorite strikes central Russia, hundreds injured". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2013-02-15. 
  34. ^ Shurmina, Natalia; Kuzmin, Andrey. "Meteorite hits central Russia, more than 500 people hurt". Reuters. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Meteor strike in Quebec? Bright flash of light and loud boom widely reported". 2013-11-27. Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-11-29. 
  36. ^ "Meteor in Quebec, Ontario". 2013-11-28. Retrieved 2013-11-29. "Jaymie Matthews, professor of astrophysics at the University of British Columbia, says a meteor was likely the cause of a strange boom heard Tuesday night in Quebec and Ontario" 
  37. ^ "Massive blast heard near Quebec, Ontario border likely a meteor: expert". 2013-11-26. Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-11-29. ""[...] This has the hallmark of a meteor blast," said Andrew Fazekas, a spokesman with the Montreal Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada." 
  38. ^ "'Huge flash of blue light' spotted around Montreal, Ottawa most likely a meteor". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). 2013-11-27. Archived from the original on 2013-11-27. Retrieved 2013-11-29. "Reports have come from throughout the Ottawa region, through Montreal, Laval, and as far south as upper New York state, near the city of Plattsburgh, he said. There have been no reports of damage." 
  39. ^ Anne Sutherland (2013-11-28). "Mystery of Tuesday’s big boom near Montreal solved". montrealgazette.com. Retrieved 2014-02-28.