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Rare meteorite discovered in California; Scientist says it could have destroyed city

December 23, 2012

Rare meteorite discovered in California; Scientist says it could have destroyed city

A close shave in California.

A rare meteorite that exploded as a fireball over California’s Sierra foothills earlier this year has left scientists pondering the possibility of a similarly-sized object hitting Earth.

An international team of scientists, who announced their findings in a series of published papers in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, say the meteorite struck with the force of several atomic bombs.  The high-speed, minivan-sized meteorite was likely much larger when it hit Earth’s atmosphere. Astronomers estimate that the meteorite weighed an estimated 100,000 pounds when it entered the atmosphere at about 64,000 miles per hour. The estimated speed makes it one of the fastest, “most energetic” reported meteorite since 2008, when an asteroid fell over Sudan.

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