Monday, 19 November, 2018


Small Asteroid Smashed Into Earth's Atmosphere Mere Hours After Being Spotted

Kristine Garrett | 07 June, 2018, 19:54

The rock was estimated to be between 2-3 meters across, and objects of this size, according to Dell'Antonio, burn up in the upper atmosphere. Later calculations showed the rock, dubbed 2018 LA, hit the top of the discernible atmosphere at a blistering 17 kilometres per second (38,000 mph) and broke apart several miles above the surface. The officer added, "The modern facilities, capabilities, and the models for impact prediction have potential to predict the impact of larger objects".

He said this asteroid was seen by the Catalina Sky Survey, a program funded by NASA, in Arizona.

In addition, the Manager of the Centre for research of Ground objects Floor khodas explained that it was only the third time in history when it was possible to track the trajectory and a high probability of an asteroid collision long before the event itself.

An artist's impression of a small asteroid like one detected 2 June just hours before atmospheric impact over southern Africa. NASA scientists and astronomers around the world regularly observe the sky for any signs of potential unsafe asteroids that could pose an impact threat to the Earth. The disintegration of the cosmic boulder lightened up the African skies.

But smaller asteroids which could wipe out a city might only be detected hours or days before they smash into our planet. The data was transmitted to the minor planet Center at the Smithsonian astrophysical Observatory, where experts calculated the likely trajectory of a celestial body and reported a possible collision with the Earth.

An asteroid four times as big exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 in an airburst blowing out windows and injuring over 1,500 people with cuts caused by flying glass and debris.

The space agency outlined its process for sharing this kind of news, from detection to multiple levels of analysis and verification, and finally to sending automated alerts to a network of asteroid watchers. Thus, the asteroid has to come fairly close to Earth before it can be detected.

In 2008, an asteroid measuring 4 metres was spotted 19 hours in advance.

The first event of this kind was the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, which lit up the predawn sky above Northern Sudan on October 7, 2008.

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/CSS-Univ. of Arizona: Observations of asteroid 2018 LA from the Catalina Sky Survey, taken June 2, 2018.

A 2014 asteroid was discovered by Kowalski just a few hours before entering over the Atlantic, with little time for tracking.

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