Residents of Pittsburg got a shockingly loud noise that rattled and shook their homes during the late morning hours of New Year’s Day.
NASA has however confirmed the cause of the mysterious event to be a celestial object from space.
“Had it not been cloudy, the fireball would have been easily visible in the daylight sky,” the space agency wrote on its Meteor Watch Facebook page Sunday night. “Crude estimate indicates about 100 times the brightness of the full moon.”
After the impact, the ground shook and many had no idea what had happened. NASA’s GOES-16 weather satellite picked up a “strong meteor signature” that was later verified.
The space agency also added that their gound sensors picked up the blast wave from the meteor breaking apart while traveling through Earth’s atmosphere where it faced extreme heat and friction.
According to reports, the meteor was about 3 feet in diameter and weighed about half a ton. Also, the event released energy equivalent to 30 tons of TNT.
In comparison to the meteor that landed in Russia back in 2013, the celestial rock had an equivalent impact of 440,000 tons of TNT.
Due to the small size of the bolide over Pennsylvania, it’s unlikely any small meteorites made it to the ground. The entire thing probably burned up in the atmosphere.