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Asteroid hunting: Astronomers track the fireball in Earth’s skies to the space rock that made it

In an effort to learn more about potentially dangerous asteroids, astronomers have used telescopic surveys to find an image of a space rock that produced a 0.4-kiloton fireball over the Pacific Ocean.

Space


September 22, 2022

Artist’s impression of a fireball in the Earth’s atmosphere.

urikyo33/Pixabay

Astronomers searching for the origins of a small asteroid that exploded over the Pacific Ocean in September 2020 have found a file image taken in space minutes before impact, in the first discovery of its kind.

David Clark at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and colleagues analyzed satellite data from previous large fireballs, identifying those created by space rocks that would be large enough to show up in images from telescopic surveys, which routinely monitor the…

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