NASA has released a photograph of a flaming meteor that unleashed a powerful sonic boom Sunday morning, rattling houses in California and Nevada when its disintegration released energy equivalent to a 5-kiloton explosion.
The former space rock entered Earth's atmosphere around 8 a.m. PT on April 22 and exploded over California's Central Valley, according to NASA, which pinpointed the location in a map posted on its website.
According to space.com, several witnesses initially thought they had experienced an earthquake.
"An event of this size might happen about once a year," said Don Yeomans of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. "But most of them occur over the ocean or an uninhabited area, so getting to see one is something special."
Bill Cooke of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., estimates the object was about the size of a minivan and weighed in at around 154,300 pounds.
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