For only the sixth time in recorded history, astronomers managed to catch a glimpse of an asteroid before it hit Earth.
On November 19, 2022, just hours before the impact, the Catalina Sky Survey detected an asteroid named 2022 WJ1 on a bound trajectory. A network of telescopes and scientists jumped into action, calculating precisely when and where the asteroid would hit the globe.
This is the best news. 2022 WJ1 was too narrow to do any serious damage, but its detection shows that the world’s asteroid technology is better, giving us a better chance of shielding us from falling space rocks – the big ones that actually do some damage.
While space is mostly space, there is also a bunch of non-space in it. In the vicinity of the Earth, that non-space is usually asteroids that orbit the Sun in such a way as to bring them close to the Earth’s orbit. We call these near-Earth asteroids, and at the time of writing 30656.
Most of these asteroids are really small, and scientists are confident that we have found almost all of them that are large enough to pose a significant hazard, have studied them, and determined that none of them will be close enough within the next century. there are threats
However, it is good to stay on top of what is murmuring in the space around us, and to sharpen our abilities to think of daring rocks to make a great entrance.
frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay clipboard-write; encrypted media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>
The detection of 2022 WJ1 was made at 04:53 UTC on November 19, 2022, by the Mount Lemmon Observatory, part of the Catilina network. He continued to monitor the object, taking four images that allowed the astronomers to confirm the detection, and report it to the IAU Minor Planet Center at 05:38 UTC.
Those four images were enough to calculate the asteroid’s trajectory across the sky, with frequent impact monitoring programs finding that the rock had about a 20 percent chance of landing somewhere on the North American continent.
Follow-up observations allowed scientists to refine their measurements, giving time and place. Bang on schedule, at 08:27 UTC, 2022 WJ1 was seen stretching across the sky as a glowing green ball, over the Golden Horseshoe region in Ontario, Canada.
The discovery was always predicted to be the first meteorite to fall through the frequented area, but the rock was not in danger. It measured about one meter (3.3 feet) by the time it entered Earth’s atmosphere, making it the smallest asteroid yet observed before modern atmospheric entry.
Here it turned into a ball of flame and shattered, falling to the ground in such minute particles that they usually fell into the water of Lake Ontario. Most of the pieces of meteorites located must be pieces of debris; Scientists want to recover some of them to study the asteroid further.
The previous five asteroids detected before impact were 2008 TC3, which was about 4 meters across; 2014 AA, at 3 meters across; 2018 LA, also three meters across; 2019 MO to 6 meters across; and, just before this year, he brought the 2022 EB5, which was about 2 meters.
The detection of 2022 WJ1, and the global coordination that followed, are amazing testaments to how sensitive technology has grown, and the magnificence of human cooperation to better understand the treacherous space rocks.
And of course those observations provide a rare opportunity to study what happens to asteroids when they enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
“This particularly significant group as a parent meteoroid was observed telescopically before it reached the atmosphere. This provided a rare opportunity to link the asteroid’s telescopic data with its behavior in the atmosphere to gather insight into its internal structure,” said the astronomer. and Peter Brown, a scientist at the University of Western Ontario.
“This remarkable event will provide clues about their activity and strength which, combined with telescopic measurements, will inform our understanding of how small asteroids dissolve in the atmosphere, important knowledge for planetary defense.”
Obstruction from 2022 WJ1 should be dark, with a thin and fresh fusion crust and a stony gray interior. Scientists are asking that any suspicious fragments be reported to the Royal Ontario Museum.
#Scientists #Glimpse #Finding #Asteroid #Hours #Impact