An asteroid is spotted 2 hours before it slams into the Earth at 11 miles per second
It's such a rare occasion for astronomers to detect an asteroid before it impacts the Earth that only 4 asteroids had been spotted before they entered the Earth's atmosphere: 2008 TC3, 2014 AA, 2018 LA, and 2019 MO. But now, it's been 5 with the discovery of 2022 EB5.
On March 11th, the astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky observed a small rocky object using the Schmidt telescope at the Piszkésteto Mountain Station. It was 2 hours later when it crashed into Earth’s atmosphere north of Iceland.
5th Earth impactor from Piszkéstető Obs: 2022 EB5— Stefan Kurti (@KurtiStefan) March 12, 2022
Yesterday at 19:24 UT an unknown moving objects of 17 mag was found by K. Sárneczky on images from 0.6-m Schmidt telescope. Acquired data 30 min later showed that it was going to collide with Earth in 2 hours time. pic.twitter.com/NdLUcF1MnM
The asteroid is estimated to be 10 feet wide and moved at a speed of 11 miles per second.
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Did it hit the Earth's surface?
The aftermath of 2022 EB5 is not certain, but it is believed that it either burned up in the atmosphere or fell into the Arctic Ocean. If it burned up, it is not known whether any residual fragments have made it to the ground or not, either.
The International Meteor Organization, on the other hand, is looking for information from anybody who may have witnessed 2022 EB5's dazzling meteor. A flash of light or a boom was observed by a few persons in Iceland. You can submit your report from this link if you think you've seen the meteor.
Impact! When 2022 EB5 struck the Earth north of Iceland this morning, it became the 5th asteroid to be discovered prior to impacting Earth. pic.twitter.com/kYsQ40uuFq— Tony Dunn (@tony873004) March 12, 2022
How many asteroids are there in the solar system?
Most of the asteroids in the Solar system orbit the Sun in a vast ring between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This area called the Asteroid Belt is estimated to contain more than 200 asteroids that are larger than 60 miles in diameter. In addition to that, there are between 1.1 million and 1.9 million asteroids larger than 0.6 miles in diameter and millions of smaller ones, according to NASA.