The sky is falling, the sky is falling!
The Answer: This is an infrared image of a Sikhote-Alin meteorite sample which has been heated up once again… It is an iron-nickel meteorite with typical “thumbprints” due to atmospheric ablation. There were probably tens of thousands of hot fragments like this raining down in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains when the 200,000 lb bolide streaked across the sky and exploded. Never before in history has a meteoroid fall of this magnitude been observed and recorded. About 70 tons of meteorite fragments survived the fiery entry into the earth’s atmosphere, and reached the ground. The amount of thermal energy expended was mind-boggling! Too bad nobody had a thermal imager at the time.