Another tiny asteroid on a collision course with Earth was detected over the weekend, and JPL’s CNEOS Scout system accurately predicted where and when the impact would happen, well before it actually occurred.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, a small near-Earth asteroid will have a very close encounter with our planet. Designated 2023 BU, the asteroid will zoom over the southern tip of South America at about 4:27 p.m. PST (7:27 p.m. EST) only 2,200 miles (3,600 kilometers) above the planet’s surface and well within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites.
In the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 19, the skies over southern Ontario, Canada, lit up as a tiny asteroid harmlessly streaked across the sky high in Earth’s atmosphere, broke up, and likely scattered small meteorites over the southern coastline of Lake Ontario. The fireball wasn’t a surprise. Roughly 1 meter (3 feet) wide, the asteroid was detected 3 ½ hours before impact, making this event the sixth time in history a small asteroid has been tracked in space before impacting Earth’s atmosphere.
Hosted by JPL’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the data can be used by the science community to better understand how asteroids break up when entering the atmosphere.
(29075) 1950 DA is a kilometer-sized asteroid that will make a close approach to Earth in 2880 and, because of the corresponding impact probability and size, has ranked at the top of the Sentry risk list since 2014.