NASA: A Fridge-sized asteroid hit Earth 2 hours after it was first spotted

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A refrigerator-sized asteroid was detected only hours before it smashed with the Earth’s atmosphere, marking the sixth occasion in history that an asteroid was spotted moments before it collided with our planet’s atmosphere.

An asteroid was discovered on March 11 by astronomer Krisztian Sarneczky of Hungary’s Piszkéstet Observatory, according to National Geographic. When Sarneczky discovered the asteroid, he immediately notified the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union, which confirmed that it was the first time the asteroid had been discovered.

The asteroid’s orbit was calculated by NASA’s “Scout” system, which searches the Minor Planet Center’s database on a regular basis for any potential collisions with Earth. It was discovered that the asteroid’s orbit was sure to hit the planet. The gadget subsequently notified NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, as well as other asteroid impact systems, of the impending asteroid impact.

Fortunately for Earth, the asteroid, designated as 2022 EB5, was only about 612 feet in length, making it “too small to pose a hazard to the planet,” according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

According to “Scout,” the asteroid would strike the Earth’s atmosphere around Jan Mayen, a Norwegian island approximately 300 miles northeast of Iceland, where it would burn up. The asteroid reached the Earth’s atmosphere at 5:23 p.m. EDT, just as “Scout” predicted, and only two hours after it was spotted by Sarneczky in the first place.

It was the sixth time an asteroid has been spotted only hours before it smashed with the planet, and the first time since the beginning of 2019.

“Scout had just 14 observations from a single observatory over a 40-minute period to work with when it first identified the object as an impactor, and it had to make a quick decision. We were able to narrow down the possible impact zones, which previously covered a wide span from western Greenland to Norway’s western coastline.” Engineer Davide Farnocchia developed Scout, which is now in its third generation. Because more observatories were watching the asteroid, we were able to revise our estimations of its trajectory and impact location as more observatories saw it.”

According to the International Meteor Organization, no meteorites from the asteroid have been recovered, despite the fact that numerous Icelanders claimed to have seen spectacular lights, implying that the space rock had converted into a fireball.

The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies’ Paul Chodas estimates that asteroids like 2022 EB5 enter the Earth’s atmosphere every ten months, despite the fact that they are difficult to detect before they do.

According to Chodas, “Extremely few of these asteroids have been discovered in orbit and closely monitored before impacting, mostly because they are exceedingly weak until the last few hours and a survey telescope must examine exactly the correct patch of sky at the right time to identify one.”

There is no reason to be concerned about a larger, more devastating asteroid sneaking up on scientists since this one was little and unnoticed by them. According to NASA, bigger asteroids are simpler to identify and maybe discovered months in advance. The organization said that this asteroid demonstrated that its technologies are very precise in estimating an object’s anticipated impact site and that this would assist planetary defense systems in being completely prepared.

NASA is putting its planetary defense systems through their paces in case a potentially hazardous asteroid threatens to strike the world. NASA launched the DART system in November, with the intention of crashing a spaceship into the asteroid moon of Didymos in September, in order to determine if crashing a spacecraft into an asteroid can alter its course and trajectory.

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