Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls

Be sure to check out my list of meteorite, asteroid, and comet events on We’ve got it updated to this year, including yearly summaries, statistics, and descriptions of significant celestial events going back 13,000 years!

2012 (Summary) – Worldwide: In 2012, archived 136 fireball reports, 24 unexplained sonic booms (at least 3 of which were accompanied by ground tremors or earthquakes), and 16 recovered meteorites. The biggest meteorite fragment was found in China in February and weighed 12.5 kg. The fireball reports contained a remarkable number of multi-state sightings – at least 21 – twice the yearly totals for both 2010 and 2011, including one in Australia which was called ‘unprecedented’ by experts. Eighteen exploded mid-air and/or were accompanied by sonic booms, including one in India that produced a 2.1 magnitude earthquake on May 22, and one daytime sighting in Nevada and California that was estimated to be the size of a minivan before breaking up, both of which fireballs left several meteorite fragments. 2012 also saw 7 daytime events in these six months, more than doubling the yearly totals for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Mark Gilmer reported 11 meteorites fitting his own criteria (he notes that “since the year 2000, we have averaged about 5 recovered meteorite falls per year that are either officially accepted by the Meteoritical Society or verified by reliable sources”–the next highest year was 2008, with 10 falls). 2012 also saw several seeming cover-ups of celestial events, notably in Israel and Turkey, Louisiana, and the Southwestern U.S.

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