Asteroid monitored from outer space to ground impact

Asteroid monitoringALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Reports by scientists of meteorites striking Earth in the past have resembled police reports of so many muggings — the offenders came out of nowhere and then disappeared into the crowd, making it difficult to get more than very basic facts.

Now an international research team has been able to identify an asteroid in space before it entered Earth’s atmosphere, enabling computers to determine its area of origin in the solar system as well as predict the arrival time and location on Earth of its shattered surviving parts.

"I would say that this work demonstrates, for the first time, the ability of astronomers to discover and predict the impact of a space object," says Sandia National Laboratories researcher Mark Boslough, a member of the research team.

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