NASA Instruments Fireball image on the Bering Sea


December 18,
2018, a great "fireball" – the term used for
unusually bright meteors visible over a large area

exploded about 26 miles above the Bering Sea. L & # 39; explosion
released about 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times the energy
of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during World War II.

instruments aboard the Terra satellite captured images of the remains of the great
meteor. The sequence of images shows views of five of the nine cameras on the Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument.
taken at 23:55 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), a few minutes after the
Event. The shadow of the meteor trail through
The Earth's atmosphere, projected on the tops of clouds and elongated under the sun's angle,
is northwest. The orange cloud that the fireball has left behind
Overheating of the air that it has gone through can be seen below and to the right of
the center of the GIF.

still image, captured by the medium resolution imaging spectro-radiometer
(MODIS), is a true color image showing the remains of the meteor's passage,
seen as a dark shadow projected on thick, white clouds. MODIS captured the image at
23:50 UTC.

The December 18 fireball was the most powerful meteor observed since 2013;
However, given its altitude and the remote area on which it occurred, the
object poses no threat to anyone on the ground. Fireball events are actually quite
common and are registered in the NASA Center for Near-Earth Objects
Database of studies.

The Terra spacecraft was launched in 1999 and is managed by NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center of the Greenbelt, Maryland. The MISR instrument was built and is
managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on behalf of NASA
Directorate of Scientific Missions in Washington. JPL is a division of Caltech. the
The MISR data was obtained from the NASA Research Center's atmospheric database at Langley.
Science Data Center in Hampton, Virginia. The MODIS instrument is managed by Goddard of NASA
Space Flight Center.

More information on MISR and MODIS is available at the following address:
following website (s):

Media contact

Smith's Spirit
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
[email protected]

Patrick Lynch
Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA
[email protected]



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