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Old 10-06-2008, 01:49 PM
Terri Finch's Avatar
Terri Finch Terri Finch is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
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Default Small Asteroid to hit Earth TONIGHT - FIRE BALL!

Space Weather News for Oct. 6, 2008
http://spaceweather.com

ASTEROID 2008 TC3: A small, newly-discovered asteroid named 2008 TC3 is approaching Earth and chances are good that it will hit. Measuring only a few meters across, the space rock poses no threat to people or structures on the ground, but it should create a spectacular fireball, releasing about a kiloton of energy as it disintegrates and explodes in the high atmosphere. At least one expert estimates that atmospheric entry will occur on Oct 7th at 0246 UTC over northern Sudan. Stay tuned to http://spaceweather.com for more information and updates to this developing story.

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Rock From Space To Burn Up Over Africa
This is an AstroAlert from Sky & Telescope.

October 6, 2008
A very tiny asteroid, not much more than 10 feet across, will enter Earth's atmosphere over Sudan in Africa tonight, October 6-7, 2008, near 2:46 Greenwich Mean Time. Most likely it will burn up before hitting the ground, but it could produce a spectacular fireball, or bolide, in the night sky equivalent to the explosion of about a kiloton of TNT.

These are the assessments of astronomers Andrea Milani of NEODyS in Italy and Steve Chesley (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). They are concerned that eyewitnesses might misinterpret the event as some type of hostile military action. Says Milani, "The earlier the public worldwide is aware that this is a natural phenomenon, which involves no risk, the better."

The first observatory to capture images of 2008 TC3 (as it's now designated) were Richard Kowalski and colleagues of Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, about 12 hours ago. Confirming measurements were quickly secured by amateur astronomer James McGaha at Sabino Canyon Observatory near Tucson, and then by Gordon Garrad and others at Australia's Siding Spring Observatory and also Christopher Jacques and E. Pimentel using the Global Rent-a-Scope site in Moorook, near Melbourne.

First to point out that the incoming object was heading right for a collision with Earth's atmosphere was Bill Gray of Project Pluto, in a post earlier today to the Minor Planet Mailing List. Canadian amateur Andrew Lowe has independently calculated the object's point of entry to be over Sudan.

The object's entry might be visible as far north as southern Europe and the Middle East. Its location in the sky, however, is completely dependent on an observer's geographic location. As further details become known, be sure to look at the online version of this AstroAlert at SkyandTelescope.com/AstroAlert for possible updates.
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