On 8 October, the rock crashed into the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The blast was heard by monitoring stations 10,000 miles away, according to a report by scientists at the University of Western Ontario. Scientists are concerned that it was not spotted by any telescopes, and that had it been larger it could have caused a disaster.
The asteroid, estimated to have been around 10 metres (30ft) across, hit the atmosphere at an estimated 45,000mph. The sudden deceleration caused it to heat up rapidly and explode with the force of 50,000 tons of TNT. Luckily, due to the height of the explosion – estimated at between 15 and 20 km (nine to 12 miles) above sea level – no damage was caused on the ground. However, if the object had been slightly larger – 20 to 30 metres (60 to 90ft) across – it could easily have caused extensive damage and loss of life, say researchers.