Six-foot asteroid exploded over southern Africa

Artist's concept of a near-earth asteroid.                  NASA  JPL-CalTech

Artist's concept of a near-earth asteroid. NASA JPL-CalTech

Remarkable footage shows the moment a boulder-size asteroid disintegrated harmlessly over Africa, just hours after its discovery.

On Saturday morning, an asteroid dubbed "2018 LA" that measured an estimated 6 feet across was discovered hurtling toward Earth.

On Saturday night, June 02, 2018, an asteroid disintegrated after it lit up above the surface of the earth, in the sky.

NASA Headquarters' Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, said, "The Asteroid was a very small object to identify and notify".

It is the third-time scientists have spotted an incoming asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth.

Fortunately, NASA didn't have to rely on Bruce Willis or Ben Affleck to blow up this asteroid before it entered the earth's atmosphere, but it still looked arguably more unsafe than Dottie, the Texas-sized asteroid in Armageddon.

It can be seen tumbling towards Earth but although it looks as if it has exploded on impact, experts who were monitoring the asteroid said it burned up entering the atmosphere.




Nasa's Near Earth Object Centre said that Asteroid 2018 LA was travelling at 27, 738 miles per hour and was about the size of a small auto.

Catalina Sky Survey astronomers reported the asteroid finding to the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which managed to calculate a preliminary trajectory for the asteroid. In one video, from a farm between Ottosdal and Hartebeesfontein in northwest South Africa, the asteroid appears as a brilliant streak that flares up into a spectacular fireball on the horizon.

Additional observations by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) located in Hawaii, which tracked down 2018 LA a few hours before it slammed into our atmosphere, confirmed that the asteroid was on a collision trajectory and narrowed down the place of impact to southern Africa.

"It is also only the second time that the high probability of an impact was predicted well ahead of the event itself", said Chodas.

Initial estimates had the impact zone stretching from southern Africa across the Indian Ocean into New Guinea.

The Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russian Federation in 2013 is proof of this, shattering windows and injuring more than 1,600 people. The space agency is focused on saving lives and property by predicting where an asteroid will strike. However, the CAS clarified that the larger asteroids reflect more sunlight, so usually the medium and large ones can be detected earlier.

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