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No, a meteor did not destroy a US Air Force base

The Aurora Borealis lights are visible over Thule Air Base, Greenland.

U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

By LEADA GORE | Alabama Media Group, Birmingham | Published: August 7, 2018

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Air Force is dismissing reports a meteor strike last month destroyed a key military installation.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed a meteor hit occurred on July 25, exploding with a force of 2.1 kilotons. The meteor struck in Greenland, a little more than 26 miles away from the Air Force's northernmost installation, Thule Air Base. Thule is home to the missile warning system and space surveillance networks for the North American Aerospace Defense Command and Air Force Space Command.

After the meteor hit, rumors spread that the installation was damaged or destroyed by the strike.

The Air Force is now confirming, however, that the facility was not hit.

"Thule is fine," the Air Force responded to media requests, according to a report on MilitaryTimes.com. Officials later confirmed there were no reports of damage on the installation.

A NASA spokeswoman told Military.com the object had a relatively small effect on the surroundings.

"By comparison, the 2013 meteor over Chelyabinsk, Russia released over 200 times the energy of the Greenland meteor," said JoAnna Wendel, a NASA spokeswoman.

NASA said the unspecified size meteor was traveling at a rate of 15.1 miles per second — more than 54,000 miles per hour — when it struck the ground.

Reports of the meteor surfaced on social media following the strike.

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