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The sixth asteroid impact we saw coming - European Space Agency

The sixth asteroid impact we saw coming - European Space Agency

The sixth asteroid impact we saw coming - European Space Agency
Nov 24, 2022 47 secs

On 19 November, asteroid 2022 WJ1 became one of the many small asteroids to strike Earth, but only the sixth we ever saw coming. For the second time this year, humankind predicted an asteroid impact.

The detection, warning and advance observations of this asteroid illustrate our rapidly increasing ability to warn of asteroid impacts, however small.

The initial discovery of asteroid 2022 WJ1 came from the Catalina Sky Survey – one of the major projects dedicated to the discovery and follow-up of near-Earth objects (NEOs) – at 04:53 UTC (05:53 CET) on 19 November 2022, just under four hours before impact.

Following the potential impact notifications, observers at Catalina and elsewhere across the US got follow-up observations of the new asteroid.

Less than 30 minutes from the initial trigger, the impact was confirmed with excellent precision: the small asteroid, likely less than a meter in diameter, was going to impact somewhere between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, near the US-Canada border, around 08:27 UTC (09:27 CET).

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