On a cold and snowy February evening, a 70 ton mass crashed into the warm atmosphere of planet Earth, at 25,000 m.p.h. or more. Forcing a column of air in front of it, the mass generated pressure, raised its surface temperature catastrophically and, within a few short seconds, was superheated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit or more. The extreme temperature change caused rapid expansion of the nearly impenetrable nickel-iron matrix. As the mass hurtled closer to our planet’s crust, the pressure of ever-denser air forced it to shear and fracture along its crystalline planes, causing a monumental aerial explosion that was heard by human observers on the ground. The shockwave reportedly knocked over forest workers, as twisted shards of metal rained down among snowy pines. Melted, torn, and blasted, these fragments so resembled the remnants of wartime bombing that they were named shrapnel.