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New Year’s Day meteor explosion over Pittsburgh was as powerful as 30 tons of TNT


NASA has confirmed that an earth-shattering boom felt in the Pittsburgh area on New Year’s Day was a meteor — which exploded with an energy blast equivalent to about 30 tons of TNT.

The space agency said a bolide — an extremely bright meteor that explodes in the atmosphere — was responsible for the loud boom that shook the area.

“A nearby infrasound station registered the blast wave from the meteor as it broke apart; the data enabled an estimate of the energy at 30 tons of TNT,” NASA said on Facebook.

“If we make a reasonable assumption as to the meteor’s speed (45,000 miles per hour), we can ballpark the object’s size at about a yard in diameter, with a mass close to half a ton,” it said.


“Had it not been cloudy, the fireball would have been easily visible in the daylight sky — crude estimate indicates about 100 times the brightness of the Full Moon,” NASA added.

NASA has confirmed that the seismic activity that was felt near Pittsburg on January 1, 2022, was a meteorite with a blast equivalent to about 30 tons of TNT.

Shannon Hefferan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Tribune-Review that satellite data recorded a flash over Washington County about 11:30 a.m. Saturday and that officials believed it was due to a meteor “falling through the atmosphere.”

Hefferan said a similar event occurred Sept. 17 in Hardy County, West Virginia.

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Allegheny County officials tweeted Saturday that 911 officials had received reports from South Hills and other areas about the disturbance.

NASA tweeted that the size of the meteor was about a yard in diameter and weighed nearly a ton.
NASA said the meteor was about a yard in diameter and weighed half a ton.
Satellite image of the meteor
NASA also said if it hadn’t been cloudy, the object would have had the brightness of a full moon.

Residents around suburban Pittsburgh reported feeling their homes shaking and rattling when the blast was heard. 

With Post wires

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