Friday, January 3, 2014

1st Asteroid of 2014 Hits Earth

Hey Space Placers!

This is my 1,000th post and I think it is appropriate that it would be about an asteroid, 2014 AA, the very first one discovered for the new year. I'm writing this as I listen to hoping to hear the Quadrantids peak which is predicted for 3 p.m. EST today (1-3-14) - see my previous blog.

2014 AA was discovered on January 1, 2014 (Universal Time, 12/31/13 local time) by the Catalina Sky Survey and was determined to be only 3-4 meters across. The initial orbital determination indicated with a virtual certainty that 2014 AA would impact the Earth, sometime on the 1st or 2nd.

No visual evidence has been reported of the impact but analysis of infrasound waves from the global network by Dr. Peter Brown, indicates that the asteroid hit the atmosphere on January 2nd (0230 Universal Time) and very likely was destroyed. His analysis indicates a release of 500-1000 tons of TNT energy - a respectable amount of energy for something the size of a car.

Peter Brown via Sky and
From discovery to impact was a scant 22-hours. And this is the second asteroid in history to be discovered before impacting Earth. 2008 TC3 did the same thing in 2008 but pieces of it survived and over 600 meteorites were recovered.

We'll see what other asteroid events 2014 brings us.

Sky Guy in Cold and Clear VA

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