This animation from GOES-16 weather data shows first the “Split Window Difference” and then the “Sulfur Dioxide” views from the satellite, both of which show the pulse of the meteoroid explosion, as well as the remnant smoke drifting away from it. Each frame represents a jump forward by 5 minutes. Hat-tip to Twitter user @brendonme for finding this and sharing a similar animation on social media. Image credit: RAMMB/CIRA animation by Scott Sutherland
According to this data, the explosion took place at 18:17 UTC or 1:17 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
This explosion was caused by the immense forces exerted on the meteoroid, as it plows through the atmosphere, and different pressures on different parts of the rock, as well as internal forces as it begins to crack, cause it to fracture and blast apart. The explosion of the rock is what caused the sonic boom heard well after the flash of light.