Home Science Scientists Glimpse Incoming Asteroid Just Hours Before It Makes Impact : ScienceAlert

Scientists Glimpse Incoming Asteroid Just Hours Before It Makes Impact : ScienceAlert

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The astronomer is only the sixth time in recorded history asteroid before hitting the earth.

On November 19, 2022, nearly four hours before impact, the Catalina Sky Survey discovered an asteroid named 2022 WJ1 in inbound orbit. A network of telescopes and scientists set in motion to calculate exactly when and where the asteroid will hit Earth.

This is great news. 2022 WJ1 was too small to do significant damage, but its detection shows that the world’s asteroid monitoring technology is improving, and it’s likely that more of the larger rocks that could actually do the damage will be detected. You are more likely to protect yourself from falling.

Space is mostly space, but there is also a lot of non-space. Near Earth, the non-space is mostly asteroids orbiting the Sun in such a way as to approach Earth’s orbit. We call them near-Earth asteroids, and there are 30,656 of them at the time of writing. Cataloged.

Most of these asteroids are actually quite small, and scientists have discovered almost all of them large enough to pose a significant danger, studied them, and hoped to find any of them within the next century. I’m sure you’ve decided that you can’t even get close enough. become a threat.

Still, it’s good to keep track of what’s buzzing in the space around us and hone our ability to spot the sneaky rocks we’re thinking of making a big entrance for.

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of Detection of 2022 WJ1 Created at 04:53 UTC on November 19, 2022 by the Mount Lemmon Observatory, part of the Catalina Network. It continued to monitor the object and took four images that allowed astronomers to confirm and report the detection. IAU Minor Planet Center 05:38 UTC.

Those four images are enough to calculate the asteroid’s orbit across the sky, and multiple impact monitoring programs have found that there’s about a 20% chance that the rock will land somewhere on the North American continent. I was.

Tracking observations allowed scientists to refine their measurements and pinpoint the time and place. As scheduled, at 8:27 UTC 2022, WJ1 was seen crossing the sky as a bright green fireball over the Golden Horseshoe region of southern Ontario, Canada.

The discovery was the first meteorite predicted to fall in a densely populated area, but the rock was not dangerous. With a diameter of about 1 meter (3.3 feet) when it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, it is the smallest asteroid ever observed before entering the atmosphere.

Here it turned into a fiery ball of fire, shattered and fell to earth as small fragments. Lake Ontario waterThe most locable fragments of meteorites must be small fragments. Scientists hope to retrieve some of them for further study of the asteroid.

The previous five asteroids detected before the impact were 2008 TC3, which is about 4 meters in diameter. 2014 AA, 3 meters wide. 2018 LA, also 3 meters wide. 2019 MO is 6 meters wide. And earlier this year, the 2022 EB5 was announced with a diameter of about 2 meters.

The detection of 2022 WJ1, and the global coordination that followed it, is an excellent testament to just how sensitive technology has grown, and the magnificence of human collaboration to better understand rogue cosmic rocks.

And of course, these observations are a rare opportunity to study what happens when an asteroid plunges into Earth’s atmosphere.

“This fireball is particularly important because it was observed telescopically before the parent meteor hit the atmosphere. This will allow us to combine the asteroid’s telescopic data with its decay behavior in the atmosphere to glean insights into its internal structure.” It will be a rare opportunity to do so.” Astronomer and physicist Peter Brown said of the University of Western Ontario.

“This astonishing event provides clues about composition and strength and, combined with telescopic measurements, will provide important insights into our understanding of how small asteroids break up in the atmosphere, an important knowledge for planetary defense.” will let you know.”

A 2022 WJ1 piece should be black with a thin, fresh fusion crust and a gray stone interior. Scientists have requested that suspected debris be reported to the Royal Ontario Museum.

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