Huge meteor explodes in the atmosphere over Atlantic

A full view of the smoke trail with the bulbous section corresponding to a mushroom cloud's cap during the meteor explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia on February 15, 2013. Photo taken from Wikipedia

A huge meteor exploded in the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean near Brazil on February 6, causing no damage to lives and properties.

The event was the largest atmospheric impact since the Chelyabinsk explosion over Russia in 2013, reports Discovery News.

The explosion released energy equivalent to 13 kilotons of exploding TNT, which is significantly a small explosion compared to the Chelyabinsk event which unleashed energy equivalent to 440 kilotons of TNT explosion, destroying many acres of forest besides causing damage and injuries to the city that has a population of 1 million.

The February 6 explosion took place about 600 miles off the Brazilian coast in a remote location, causing no damage and had no witnesses.

It is assumed that the meteor was 16-23 feet wide and was mostly destroyed by the atmospheric impact, with any surviving small pieces likely to have fallen into the ocean.

Every day, around 100 tons of rock and other debris fall towards Earth, most of which are made up of grain-sized pieces burning up in the atmosphere as meteors.

Larger space rocks collide with the atmosphere and explode as a bolide occasionally, followed by some small pieces reaching the ground as meteorites.

In its Near-Earth Object Program, NASA maintains Fireball and Bolide Reports online where the location, altitude, velocity and energy of each event is reported after detection.