For simply the sixth time in historical past, astronomers managed to identify a small asteroid shortly earlier than it smacked into our planet in dramatic style.
On Saturday, Astronomer David Rankin noticed a 2.3-foot-long (0.7 meter) asteroid in observations from the Mount Lemmon sky survey in Arizona. That’s not very huge so far as asteroids go, however this one was on a collision course with Earth. Although it wasn’t giant sufficient to pose a considerable threat, it was large enough to placed on fairly a present because it tore by way of the environment.
Word went out immediately in the course of the evening by way of astronomy circles that affect was simply hours away.
While it is solely the sixth asteroid we noticed coming, it wasn’t the primary to be noticed earlier than affect this 12 months. This offers some indication of how a lot the astronomy’s collective detection functionality is bettering in recent times — 5 of the six have been noticed since 2014. What was completely different about this incoming asteroid, which is formally cataloged as 2022 WJ1, in contrast with the opposite handful that have been noticed earlier than their fiery demise is that it burned up over the biggest metropolis in Canada.
Over 100 witnesses reported seeing a vibrant fireball over the area round Lake Erie and the opposite Great Lakes at 3:26 a.m. native time (12:26 a.m. PT). It was even caught on digicam buzzing behind the enduring CN Tower in Toronto.
Astronomers from Western University in Ontario advise individuals alongside parts of the Lake Ontario shoreline to “check their yards and driveways for new black rocks, which could be meteorites.”
Numerous researchers are already on the job scouring the shore for potential area chunk fragments.