Small Asteroid Enters Earth’s Atmosphere
By Jenny Huntington
19:25, October 7th 2008
9 votes
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Small Asteroid Enters Earth’s Atmosphere

Spotted: a small asteroid headed for Earth on early Tuesday morning.

One day before, Harvard scientists had informed that the 2008 TC3 asteroid would burn up and give rise to a fireball in the sky, which was to be seen by people living in North Africa, since they expected it to enter Earth’s atmosphere just at the crack of dawn. Moreover, they added that it was not in least a threat to the region, due to the fact that its size would render it incapable of hitting the ground before burning up.

Manager of NASA's Near Earth Object program Donald Yeomans has stated that for the first time, they had been able to predict an impactor beforehand, also reckoning that the fireball would be quite the treat for residents of the North African area.

The aforementioned program tracks both asteroids and comets that come within close range of the Earth’s atmosphere. Presently, 5,681 objects of the like have been reported, of which an approximate number of 757 are said to be prone to cause damage if hitting the Earth.

The 2008 TC3 asteroid was been spotted this Sunday by an Arizona telescope, scientists estimating that it measured between 3 feet and 15 feet in diameter, which excluded it from the category of possible harmful objects.

Astronomers from the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center have informed that their efforts to scan the sky are aimed at eventually rendering them able to warn in due time of rocks that could do damage to the planet, thus making it possible to prevent undesired events from occuring.

They warned of Tuesday’s asteroid only six hours before the latter was expected to hit the ground, because the object had been too small and too dark to be observed any sooner.



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