Meteor Hits Near Thule Air Force Base in Greenland

thule air force base meteor

Getty The milky way and meteors of the April Lyrids annual meteor shower are seen in the night sky over Burg auf Fehmarn on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, on April 20, 2018.

A meteor hit close to a U.S. Air Force base in Greenland, it was confirmed by NASA but the Air Force has remained silent. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory listed the impact on their website. The impact occurred a little over 26 miles north of Thule Air Base on July 25. The meteor was traveling at 15 miles per second.

On August 3, the Military Times published an article with the headline, “No, a Meteor Did Not Destroy Thule Air Base.” The Military Times attributed a Fox News report, that was “re-upped” from Australian media, for providing “rocket fuel for a frenzy of reporter calls to a surprised base and NASA spokesmen. Thule’s media spokesperson, Steve Brady, of Peterson Air Force base in Colorado but handles Greenland’s media inquiries, said, “No, we don’t have any reports of damage, why are we getting calls on this now?”

On August 1, the Director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, Hans M. Kristensen, tweeted about the meteor. Kristensen wrote that the meteor had 2.1 kilotons of force. He noted that the base, “Correctly concluded it was not a Russian first strike. There are nearly 2,000 nukes on alert, ready to launch.”

Speaking to Business Insider, Kristensen said, “Had [the meteor] entered at a more perpendicular angle, it would have struck the earth with significantly greater force.” Kristensen notes that meteors head towards earth once every 13 days but most burn up in the atmosphere.

In February 2013, a meteor exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, injuring nearly 2,000 people, mainly due to broken glass. That meteor was visible from 60 miles away in the sky. Writing on NASA’s website, Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson, said of that incident, “The Chelyabinsk event drew widespread attention to what more needs to be done to detect even larger asteroids before they strike our planet. This was a cosmic wake-up call.” In the wake of that incident, the International Asteroid Warning Network was established.

Air Force Base is home to the 12th Space Warning Squadron that uses a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System which tracks nuclear weapons which are fired at the United States.

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