Geminid meteor fireball over Mojave Desert
© Wally Pacholka
Geminid meteor fireball over Mojave Desert
A mysterious fireball exploding with the power of a small nuclear bomb which was detected not far from the US air base in Greenland has alerted a NASA space explorer. Another called for calm, saying it's not a Russian strike.

The curious tweet was released by Ron Baalke, a space explorer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in late July. "A fireball was detected over Greenland on July 25, 2018 by US government sensors at an altitude of 43.3 km," he wrote. The energy from the blast was estimated to be 2.1 kilotons.

The information about the cosmic flotsam also bugged researcher Hans Kristensen, a director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. He said that the "meteor" exploded "above missile early warning radar at Thule Air Base," the northernmost US base, which has operated on the island since the 1940s.

The scientist didn't pass up the opportunity for a 'Russians did it' joke. "We're still here, so they correctly concluded it was not a Russian first strike," he wrote, noting that "there are nearly 2,000 nukes on alert, ready to launch."

Kristensen's followers, however, didn't breathe a sigh of relief. The other way round, the message triggered tweets from puzzled people: