This New Year’s Eve was unlike any regular one for the people in western Pennsylvania. Instead of manmade fireworks, the people were dazzled by unexpected New Year’s fireworks when they heard a massive, Earth-shaking boom in the sky on Saturday.
They were not actually fireworks. The sound came from the sound of a meteor blowing up, according to a post on NASA’s Meteor Watch Facebook page. The meteor broke the sound barrier as it passed over Pennsylvania, causing a huge boom equivalent to 30 tons of TNT.
“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,” NASA said in the post.
It was also stated by the agency that if the skies weren’t cloudy at the time, people in the area would have been able to easily see a massive fireball in the sky roughly “100 times the brightness of the full Moon,” according to NASA.
Still, the clouds did not really stop the unusual activity from being noticed. The exploding meteor still drew the attention of many residents. Officials in Pittsburgh and its surrounding area received several reports of an explosion that shook the area, according to Allegheny County’s Twitter account.
Just a few months ago, a similar meteor explosion rattled New Hampshire. In March, another meteor rocked the residents of Vermont. It shows that meteors crossing over or exploding is not as rare as it sounds.