First Asteroid Discovered in 2014 Hits Earth's Atmosphere; Burns Up Over Atlantic Ocean
By sangeetha seshagiri | January 4, 2014 6:41 PM EST
The first asteroid discovered in 2014 entered the Earth's atmosphere late 1 January (2 January Universal time) over the mid-Atlantic ocean, reports NASA.
Asteroid 2014 AA (Image credit: CSS/LPL/UA)
Astronomers spotted the small asteroid, designated as 2014 AA, using the 60-inch Mount Lemmon telescope at the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Arizona, early Wednesday morning (1 January).
Using high-precision astrometry data and follow-up observations provided by the Catalina Sky Survey team, orbit analysts determined possible Earth impact locations. According to NASA report, the small asteroid, which was 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size, most likely entered Earth's atmosphere sometime between 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) Wednesday and 6 a.m. PST (9 a.m. EST) on Thursday
The asteroid is believed to have entered the Earth's atmosphere and burned up over the Atlantic Ocean, possibly somewhere between Africa and Central America, before hitting the ground or sea. "The most likely impact location of the object was just off the coast of West Africa at about 6 p.m. PST (9 p.m. EST) Jan. 1," NASA said in a news release.
This is the second time in space history that an asteroid was discovered just hours before it slammed into the Earth's atmosphere. The first was in 2008 when an asteroid labeled as 2008 TC3 was discovered just prior to hitting Earth. Asteroid 2008 TC3, which was about 7 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size, burned up over northern Sudan in October 2008.
"It is unlikely asteroid 2014 AA would have survived atmospheric entry intact, as it was comparable in size to asteroid 2008 TC3," the NASA announcement said.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- NFL MNF: Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Houston Texans 23 [PHOTOS]
- ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Season 7 Finale Spoilers: Kurt Sutter On Ending The Biker Series And Picking The Right Song For The Final Ride
- Prince Charles’ Wife Camilla Parker-Bowles In Drug Scandal - Reports
- Camilla Parker-Bowles To Become Queen When Prince Charles Accedes To The Throne
Join the Conversation
- 'Human Skull' Found On Mars [Watch Video]
- UFO Sighting: UFO Spotted Above Las Vegas, Nevada
- MH370 Search Update: Australian Scientists Has Reportedly Found A Solution To The Mystery Of Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet
- Alien Toy Doll Found On Mars [Watch Video]
- Leonardo DiCaprio Donates $2M To Fight Illegal Fishing And Support Oceans
- Galaxy Note 4 vs Redmi Note 2 vs iPhone 6: Samsung in Danger with Depressing Q3
- iOS 8 Jailbreak Release Date Likely this October 2014 with Pangu not Evad3rs Firming Up as Creator
- Top 4 Free-To-Download Apps for Fuller iPhone 6, 6 Plus Experience
- Battery Saving Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Extends The Battery Life Of Your Android Device By 90 Minutes And Displays Orange Bar While Power Saving Mode Is On
- Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock Set to Soar Beyond $100 Despite Decline After New iPad Launch
- Russia Beefs Up Gold Reserves To Offset Heat of Sanctions And Undercut Dollar
- Australia's 'No Way' Anti-Asylum Seeker Poster Sparks Outrage