Meteor travelling at 42,000mph rattles windows as it explodes with huge force

NASA has described a building rattling meteor as a "nice little firework," after residents of Vermont, United States saw a giant object fly through the sky on Sunday, March 7.

The giant space rock was seen hurtling through the sky before abruptly exploding, causing a show-stopping display.

It's believed the object was around the same size as a bowling ball, weighing around 4.5kg and just 15cm in diameter, according to NASA Meteor Watch.

The space agency was estimated to be travelling at around 42,000 miles per hour when it breached the Earth's atmosphere.

As the rock continued to glide towards Earth, a vacuum is believed to have formed behind it, causing pressure to build up on its front which caused it to break away.

The meteor which is said to have been witnessed by around 100 people was first spotted over Vermont minutes before sunset at 5.38 pm local time on Sunday.

According to NASA, the disintegration of the meteor was measured at 200 kilograms of TNT, enough to leave windows rattling.

Taking to Facebook, they said: "As the object (which was likely a fragment of an asteroid) penetrated deeper into the atmosphere, pressure built up on its front while a partial vacuum formed behind it.

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"About 30 miles up, the pressure difference between front and back exceeded its structural strength.

"The space rock fragmented violently, producing a pressure wave that rattled buildings and generated the sound heard by those near the trajectory.

"Such a pressure wave can also couple into the ground, causing minor 'tremors' that can be picked up by seismic instruments in the area; the wave itself can be detected by infrasound (low-frequency sound that can travel great distances) stations."

They went on to say: "In the case of last night, we were obtained infrasound measurements from 3 nearby stations – the amplitudes and durations of the signals put the energy of the fireball fragmentation at 440 pounds (200 kilograms) of TNT.

"We can combine this energy with the speed to get a mass and size of the object – 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and 6 inches (15 centimetres) in diameter.

"A nice little firework, courtesy of Mother Nature."

Those who witnessed the spectacular event took to the comment section of the post to share their experience, with one user penning: "I saw it from my window in Colchester looking east over Mt Mansfield. Heard the sonic boom what I thought was 90 seconds later but could be off on that. It was super bright white and broke up into a few pieces."

"We heard a sonic boom followed by a dwindling rumble come from the north by northeast from here in the northeast corner of Bristol," said another.

While one Facebook user recalled seeing the space rock "come down red, orange and then broke into green pieces."

"The boom shook my house like an explosion nearby and heard a quick higher pitch shrieking sound over head," penned one social media user.

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