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Fireball meteor explodes over New Zealand, TNT equivalent of 1800 tons

A giant fireball was spotted flying through New Zealand’s sky on July 7th, likely a fragment from a meteor that landed in the sea.

Witnesses described the meteor as a “giant bright orange fireball” that produced a “trail of smoke that hung around for a few minutes.” The fireball is presumed to have been caused by a small meteor, up to a few meters wide, that fragmented in the atmosphere, producing a sonic boom as it exploded with the power of 1,800 metric tonnes of TNT.

The shock wave generated by the fragmented meteor was detected by GeoNet, a network seismometers used to detect earthquakes, which recorded sound waves produced as a result. The event also produced a bright flash of light that was recorded by satellites used to detect lightning globally. The meteor likely fragmented over the ocean, and fragments of it will therefore be unrecoverable.