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

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

Scientists Glimpse Incoming Asteroid Just Hours Before It Makes Impact - ScienceAlert
Nov 25, 2022 42 secs

On 19 November 2022, nearly four hours before impact, the Catalina Sky Survey discovered an asteroid named 2022 WJ1 on an inbound trajectory.

2022 WJ1 was too small to do any serious damage, but its detection shows that the world's asteroid monitoring techniques are improving, giving us a better chance of protecting ourselves from falling space rocks – the big ones that might actually do some damage.

The detection of 2022 WJ1 was made at 04:53 UTC on 19 November 2022, by the Mount Lemmon Observatory, part of the Catalina network.

The previous five asteroids detected prior to impact were 2008 TC3, which was around 4 meters across; 2014 AA, at 3 meters across; 2018 LA, also three meters across; 2019 MO at 6 meters across; and, just earlier this year, 2022 EB5, which was around 2 meters across.

And, of course, those observations represent a rare opportunity to study what happens to asteroids when they enter Earth's atmosphere.

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