Controversy escalated when NASA and the military failed to inform the rest of the world that a meteor exploded off the coast of Brazil last February 6.
Netizens are concerned why there was no prominent warning despite the fact that there were no casualties from the said incident. However, not a single eyewitness was able to see the impact. Will the end of humanity via meteor also remain unseen?
On February 6, approximately 2:00 p.m. UTC, a meteor hit the waters off the coast of Brazil. It was considered the latest meteor explosion that occurred since 2013’s Chelyabinsk, Russia fireball, which left 1,600 injured.
The meteor was recorded to have exploded 620 miles from Brazil and into the Atlantic, which released an energy measured approximately similar to 13,000 tons of TNT, the same amount of energy released during the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb, reports the Daily Mail.
The said meteor was also measured to be around five to seven meters wide. According to Phil Plait, a blogger for Slate, “As impacts go, this was pretty small. After all, you didn’t even hear about until weeks after it occurred. Events this size aren’t too big a concern. Had it happened over a populated area it, would’ve rattled some windows and probably terrified a lot of people, but I don’t think it would’ve done any real damage.”
Although there were no eyewitnesses and the meteor did not cause any serious damage, a statement released by NASA unwarranted the occurrence of said impact. Last September, Paul Chodas, a manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object office, said, “There is no existing evidence that an asteroid or any other celestial object is on a trajectory that will impact Earth.” Did NASA fail to recognize the coming of this particular meteor?
In other news, Mirror reports that it could have been possible for the U.S. military to recognize the coming of the meteor before it even hit the Atlantic. Plait addressed this possibility and said, “I would assume the military sees most if not all events this size but chooses not to report them for their own reasons. I understand the desire for them to keep their technology and capabilities secret.”
With the secrecy that NASA or the military implored regarding the meteor impact, what if both agencies were, in fact, unable to see the meteor coming? What if another one hits Earth in the future and both do not inform people about it?