May 27, 2022

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A “small” asteroid hits Earth to test the early warning system

A small asteroid 6 1/2 feet (2 meters) wide was successfully discovered just hours before it crashed into the atmosphere over the Norwegian Sea before disintegrating on Friday, March 11, the Guardian reports. Statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Tuesday. This is too small to pose any danger to Earth, NASA said.

These small asteroids often slip through the monitoring network, and 2022 EB5, as the asteroid was named, is only the fifth of its kind to be observed and tracked prior to impact. (Don’t fear, a larger asteroid will be discovered and tracked far from Earth, years before any potentially devastating impact.)

Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which tracks comets and potentially dangerous asteroids that could collide with our planet.

“But very few of these asteroids have been spotted in space and were widely observed before the collision, mainly because they were so faint until the last few hours, and the survey telescope would have to look at the right place in the sky in time for one to be discovered.” .

The asteroid was discovered just two hours before its collision by astronomer Christian. NASA told Sarneczky at the Piszkéstető Observatory in northern Hungary, which he tagged on the Minor Planet Center Objects Confirmation page.

NASA’s “Scout” Collision Risk Assessment System, which automatically searches the Minor Planet Center database for potential new asteroids or other space objects, made these first measurements to calculate the 2022 EB5 trajectory.

Once the system determined that 2022 EB5 would collide with Earth’s atmosphere, NASA flagged the object on the Scout web page to notify the NEO observing community, which was able to provide further observations.

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“The rover only had 14 observations during a 40-minute period from one observatory to work with when they first identified the object as a collider. We were able to identify potential collision sites, which initially stretched from western Greenland to the coast of Norway.” Davide Farnocchia, Navigation Engineer at JPL who developed Scout. “As more observatories track the asteroid, our calculations of its path and location of impact become more accurate.”

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“This realistic event” indicates that “CNEOS impact prediction models are very capable of reporting the potential impact response of a larger object,” NASA said.

Asteroids and other objects pass close to our planet several times a week. In September, NASA will deliberately stop An asteroid spacecraft to alter its motion in space: a test technology developed to avoid an asteroid collision.

known as Dart missionOr the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, the spacecraft targets Demorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos.

NEOs are asteroids and comets that have orbits that place them within 48 million kilometers (30 million miles) of Earth.