You may have heard that NASA announced over the weekend at a conference that a large meteor exploded in the upper atmosphere over the Bering Sea on December 18th, 2018, which had gone unnoticed due to the location of entry. Quick to capitalize on that story, CNN rushed to report it, and like the meteor, bombed in the process.

Here's the headline:

CNN report Dec 2018 meteor bering sea
And here is the text of the report, note the highlight:

CNN report Bering Sea meteor December 2018

Umm, riiight. I didn't even have to look it up to know that the Hiroshima bomb (Little Boy) had a 15 kiloton yield, but it's right there in Wikipedia had the author bothered to check facts first.

Wikipedia Little Boy
Let's see, a 4.2 kiloton meteor explosion in the atmosphere, vs. the 15 kiloton Hiroshima bomb.

For the math challenged, like CNN writer AJ Willingham here's how that works out:

15 kilotons/4.2kilotons = 3.57 times SMALLER than the Hiroshima Bomb.

Yet somehow, CNN thinks the meteor was 10 times stronger, or with a yield of 15 kilotons x 10=150 kilotons. Nope, not no way, not no how.


Meanwhile, here's a photo of the event, notice the tiny orange blip in the clouds inside the box:
Dec 2018 meteor Bering Sea

View of the meteor that entered Earth’s atmosphere over the North Pacific on December 18th, 2018, taken by Japan’s Himawari satellite.
h/t to Dave Heider

UPDATE: CNN finally got around to updating the story and noting a correction at 1:58 AM ET, Tue March 19, 2019 :

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the fireball had an impact energy of 173 kilotons.