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Large midair explosion

Part of Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites.

D.2.4.6. Large midair destruction.jpg

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Asteroids the size of a 10-story building, 30 meters (100 feet) across, are about the smallest that can cause significant damage. Typically, these asteroids explode several miles above Earth's surface in a large fireball. The great majority of them would blow apart harmlessly over the ocean or an unpopulated area.

Because these asteroids are so small, we have little hope of reliably detecting or tracking the estimated 200 million asteroids this size that cross Ear