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An asteroid hit the earth shortly after being discovered by telescope this week



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Artist's concept of an earth-metering steroid.


NASA / JPL-CalTech

An asteroid that the size of a refrigerator was discovered by telescopes in Hawaii on Saturday, just before it collided with the Earth's atmosphere and burned like a fireball in the sky right south of Puerto Rico. The harmless space stone, officially named 201

9 MO, has never had a chance to make it to the ground or do much damage, as it was only about a tenth of the size of the bolt that exploded in the atmosphere over Russia 2013 .

You can see the fireball flash in pictures from NOAA / NASA satellites below:

According to NASA fireball and ball data, our atmosphere of a meteor strikes this size or greater about once a year.

What is most interesting about 2019 MO, however, is that it was appreciated by telescopes in advance. It happened only four times in history, according to Italian amateur star Ernesto Guido.

The three other times all happened in the last 12 years, including asteroid 2018 LA which made it all the way to the ground in Africa.

This does not mean that space stones become more aggressive in the 21st century, but that astronomers' equipment and techniques are better at detecting incoming asteroids.

According to International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center , 2019 MO affected the atmosphere around 5:30 pm EDT Saturday.

Astronomer Peter Brown from Western University in Ontario noted that the effect was recorded at the corresponding explosive force of 5000 tons TNT.

Of course, it was not the same daily newspaper in 2019 MO that would be helpful in making preparations if there was a much larger asteroid that hit the sky. Fortunately, NASA and other agencies have mandates to work to track as many of the greatest stones out there as possible.






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