Large meteor explodes off the coast of Brazil

By Shawn Price   |   Updated Feb. 25, 2016 at 2:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The largest space rock to penetrate Earth's atmosphere in three years exploded over the Atlantic Ocean earlier this month.

NASA confirmed the fireball this week, noting the explosion took place off the coast of Brazil, releasing the equivalent of 13,000 tons of TNT. The blast was the largest since a similar object exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013.

The Russian object was much bigger, exploding with the equivalent of 500,000 tons of TNT, shattering windows and injuring more than 1,000 people.

This month's fireball burned up about 18 miles above the surface of the ocean and 600 miles out in the South Atlantic Ocean.

About 30 asteroids burn up in Earth's atmosphere each year with most falling over the ocean.

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