Pittsburgh was treated to more than just the ball dropping on New Year’s Day. The city was rocked by a meteor falling from the sky and breaking through the sound barrier. The meteor was being tracked by NASA’s Meteor Watch Facebook page. When the meteor broke through the sound barrier over Pittsburgh, it had a boom that was equivalent to 30 tons of TNT. Imagine being in the backyard and hearing an explosion with that much force. According to NASA “If we make a reasonable assumption as to the meteor’s speed (45,000 miles per hour), we can ballpark the object’s size at about a yard in diameter, with a mass close to half a ton.”
The meteor coming through our airspace is oddly coincidental, considering a film called Don’t Look Up just came out. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. They are two scientists trying to warn the world of impending doom from a meteor strike, but our social media-driven world doesn’t seem to care all too much. Thankfully, this meteor was only about a yard in diameter. Obviously, that can still cause some damage, but not enough to kill our planet. NASA also stated that had it not been so cloudy over Pittsburgh, citizens would have seen a massive fireball that was “100 times the brightness of the full Moon.”
Even though the clouds had mostly covered the meteor crashing into Earth, many of the residents in the area were still concerned and heard the meteor. Numerous reports were made by residents claiming that they heard a massive sound, which shook the surrounding area. This was all reported on the official Allegheny County Twitter page. Although no one was hurt in the process of the meteor crashing, it still sounds to be like quite a horrifying experience. Hearing a massive explosion, and then feeling the ground shake below you would cause anyone to want to run and hide.
Although this occurrence sounds concerning, it happens to be a bit more common than the public thinks. A meteor had crashed in New Hampshire earlier in 2021. The same happened with another meteor crashing into Vermont around March. The one that fell in the Vermont area had a force of 440 pounds of TNT. That sounds like quite an explosion as well. Could the Northeast be a sort-of tractor beam for meteors? Probably best to move out of that area. Or, maybe one can go mine the rare metals and minerals that exist inside these meteors and get rich. Assuming that NASA doesn’t know about a massive rock falling from the sky.
Hopefully, the common nature in which meteors have been falling from the sky in the US isn’t indicative of a much larger problem in the coming future. Celebrating a new year with fireworks is all we need, not a massive fireball that could potentially take out an entire state, or worse. NASA better stay on top of these rocks that seem to be hitting more often than not. Either that or plan to start tracking this activity on their Facebook page, so you know when to run.