Giant Fireball in the Sky Was Totally No Big Deal

On a daily basis, most of us allow ourselves to live with the delusion that the Earth is a generally safe and predictable place, but every once in a while something happens which makes it impossible to ignore that this planet is a deeply fucked up and scary deathtrap. The latest evidence? A gigantic fireball that exploded with a massive "boom" in the daytime sky over California this weekend. Scientists say the meteor, which came tearing in above the state's Central Valley at 8 a.m., was a rare phenomenon and was a lot bigger than most meteors are.

Well, that's a relief? Or maybe it's not because Bill Cooke, of NASA, estimates that the fiery flameball was approximately the size of a minivan, and the force released by its disintegration was roughly equal to a 5-kiloton explosion. For your reference/horror, that is, according to Cooke, "a third the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II." Apparently, NASA experts say, these kinds of giant rocks-on-fire slam into Earth about once a year, but mostly we don't see them because they land over oceans or uninhabited land. Yeah. Meet you in the underground bunker in ten?

Meteor Explosion In Nevada Was One Third The Size Of Hiroshima Bomb, Expert Says [HuffPo]