Small Asteroid Hits Earth Hours After Being Spotted By Astronomers

Small Asteroid Hits Earth Hours After Being Spotted By Astronomers”

"However, this real-world event allows us to exercise our capabilities and gives some confidence our impact prediction models are adequate to respond to the potential impact of a larger object", Johnson pointed out. The asteroid hit Earth 8 hours after these images were taken, burning up in Earth's upper atmosphere over Botswana, Africa. According to CNEOS records, the asteroid's distance from Earth's centre, at closest approach, was calculated to be 5,874 km, which is well inside the planet's radius of 6,371 km. That trajectory plot was the first hint that 2018 LA could hit Earth.

At the time of its discovery, 2018 LA was nearly as close to Earth as the orbit of the moon, "although that was not initially known", stated NASA officials.

It is the third-time scientists have spotted an incoming asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth. Videos posted to YouTube reportedly show the fireball streaking across the night sky, including one captured on a South African farm's security camera. It burst apart several miles up, according to NASA. This is because asteroid detection depends on telescopes picking up sunlight reflected off the asteroid's surface.

When it was first detected, the asteroid was almost as far away as the Moon's orbit, although that was not initially known.

Fortunately, even though it is harder to find asteroids this small, ones of this size are also too small to cause any noticeable damage to anything or anyone on the ground.

Astronomers can easily track massive space rocks big enough to cause the extinction of humanity.

The object, however, was much smaller than the meteor - estimated to be about 56 feet wide, that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, injuring more than 1,000 people.

The Minor Planetary Centre said 'object no longer exists (in its original form), following its entry into the Earth's atmosphere on 2 June 2018.

The data were in turn sent to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where the automated Scout system also found a high probability that the asteroid was on an impact trajectory. The asteroid hit Earth's atmosphere over the southern African nation of Botswana at 12:44 p.m. EDT (1644 GMT) while hurtling down at a whopping 38,000 miles per hour (61,155 km/h).

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.

Scientists were able to observe 2018 LA a few hours prior to impact using the ATLAS asteroid survey, an asteroid impact early warning system developed by the University of Hawaii and funded by NASA. The same asteroid hunter, Richard Kowalski, made all three discoveries.

The 2008 asteroid was spotted 19 hours in advance and measured 13 feet, or 4 meters.

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