Astronomers trace fireball in Earth’s skies to space rock that made it

In an effort to learn more about near-Earth 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 22 September 2022

Fireball

Artist’s impression of a fireball in 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 an archive picture of it, in space, taken minutes before the impact, in the first discovery of its kind.

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

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