A boulder-sized asteroid seen on June 2 was tuned to a course of collision with the Earth. This is a weak body with a length of 2 m, because of which it was supposed to burn safely in the atmosphere. For the first time, a stone was noticed at NASA.
There was not enough data to accurately predict the location of the fall, but they identified a number of proposed locations, stretching from South Africa, across the Indian Ocean to New Guinea. The asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 17 km / s and collapsed at a height of several miles above the surface. The created fireball was captured by observers on the video.
When first detected, the object was at a distance of the lunar orbit. It was recorded on several photographs by the Catalina telescope. The data was sent to the Small Planets Center in Cambridge (Massachusetts), where they calculated a preliminary trajectory with the possibility of falling. Also, the information was sent to the Center for Studies of Near-Earth Objects in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
All posts and observers received reports of falling to the surface. But the size of the object is considered small, so there was no mass notification of the population. However, this asteroid made it possible to use the capabilities of scientists and check how adequate the forecasts turned out to be.
The asteroid search ATLAS received 2 additional hours before the impact, which helped narrow the search to southern Africa. Infrasound data after the impact were clearly collected by one of the listening stations. The signal is consistent with atmospheric fluctuations over Botswana.
This is the third time that they managed to find an asteroid on the collision trajectory. It is also the second time when they were able to predict the point of falling long before the event itself.
The first such event was the fall of the asteroid 2008 TC3 over Northern Sudan. It was 4 meters long and was noticed 19 hours before the strike, which allowed for numerous reviews. The second fall refers to a 2014 AA object found over the Atlantic Ocean a few hours before the impact.