Small Asteroid Detected then Explodes in the Sky


Small Asteroid Detected then Explodes in the Sky

Preliminary data suggests that asteroid 2018 LA entered the atmosphere at roughly 15 kilometres/second (or 54,000 km/h) and released energy equivalent to a half-kiloton of TNT.

The asteroid made impact into the earth's atmosphere at about 12:44 p.m. on June 2, at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour over South Africa. Although its trajectory put the space rock on a path for impact, it was estimated to be about 6 feet wide and expected to disintegrate upon impact with the Earth's atmosphere. NASA says the rock "disintegrated several miles above the surface" over Botswana, Africa, and it created a fireball that lit up the night sky.

Asteroid 2018 LA was first identified early Saturday morning by the Catalina Sky Survey telescope near Tucson, Ariz.

Luckily for us, the asteroid was small, as mentioned above, and burnt up in the atmosphere without causing damages.

The dinosaurs were blasted into extinction 66 million years ago when a far bigger asteroid hit Earth but for the African wildlife living below this asteroid they had a lucky escape. In one video, from a farm between Ottosdal and Hartebeesfontein in northwest South Africa, the asteroid appears as a brilliant streak that flares up into a spectacular fireball on the horizon. Researchers there quickly determined its trajectory put the rock on a probable collision course with Earth. This is only the third time an asteroid was detected before it made impact. "It is also only the second time that the impact location was predicted well ahead of the event itself".

"This was a much smaller object than we are tasked to detect and warn about", NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, said in a statement on Sunday. The space agency is focused on saving lives and property by predicting where an asteroid will strike.

Center for the study of near-earth objects NASA (CNEOS) confirmed that the asteroid is likely to enter the atmosphere of the planet.

And While 2018 LA was detected soon before it came at our setting, there are various organizations looking for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) which may seriously affect life.

The 2008 asteroid was spotted 19 hours in advance and measured 13 feet, or 4 meters. Another asteroid 2014 AA was discovered in 2014, a few hours before falling over the Atlantic ocean. 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.