According to a team of researchers working with NASA, the meteor that hit Russia only last week was a tad bigger than initially thought. Thus, it seems that this space rock was the largest to hit out planet in a century.New information made available to the public by NASA says that, contrary to initial reports, two meters must be added to the meteor's size, whereas roughly 3000 tones should be added to its mass.
“The estimated size of the object, prior to entering Earth's atmosphere, has been revised upward from 49 feet (15 meters) to 55 feet (17 meters), and its estimated mass has increased from 7,000 to 10,000 tons,” reads NASA's statement on this issue.
As expected, these new estimates concerning the meteor's size translated into the researchers' having to also revise the amounts of energy that the space rock released when entering the earth's atmosphere and crashing in Russia.
Thus, International Business Times says that, once these new bits and pieces of information are taken into consideration, 30 kilotons of energy must be added to the 470 kilotons initially believed to have been released at the moment of the space rock's exploding in our atmosphere.
Furthermore, NASA maintains that, following its entering our planet's atmosphere, the asteroid only got to travel as a whole for about 32.5 seconds, after which the explosion inevitably took place.
Commenting on this new information concerning the Russian meteor, Paul Chodas, a researcher currently working with NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, made a case of how, “We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average.”
“When you have a fireball of this size, we would expect a large number of meteorites to reach the surface, and, in this case, there were probably some large ones,” Paul Chodas went on to add.
In case anyone was wondering, these estimates concerning the meteor's size were collected with the help of five additional infrasound stations up and running in various parts of the world.