A small asteroid about the size of a boulder slammed into Earth's atmosphere Saturday (June 2), incinerating itself in a brilliant fireball caught on video. NASA officials named it as Asteroid 2018 LA and said that it was actually meant to hit the Earth when its trajectory is analysed and the hitting speed is around 60,000 km/hr or 38,000 miles per hour approximately.
An employee of the Office of planetary defense, NASA Lindley Johnson said that it was a much smaller space object that they need to detect and prevent.
The manager of the NEOC Paul Chodas said: 'The discovery of Asteroid 2018 LA is on the the third time that an asteroid has been discovered to be on an impact trajectory with the Earth.
Saturday's asteroid was first discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson and operated by the University of Arizona.
Center for the study of near-earth objects NASA (CNEOS) confirmed that the asteroid is likely to enter the atmosphere of the planet.
NASA calculated that the asteroid was traveling at a considerable speed of 27,738 miles per hour (44,640 km / h). But there are thousands of asteroids up to half a mile wide, or greater, in our solar system alone. Videos posted to YouTube reportedly show the fireball streaking across the night sky, including one captured on a South African farm's security camera. The locations identified for collision were the Southern Africa, The Indian Ocean, and New Guinea.
An asteroid four times as big exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 in an airburst blowing out windows injuring more than 1,500 people mainly due to cuts caused by flying glass and debris. However, the asteroid was determined to be very small and therefore harmless. That said, it can never hurt to have more telescopes and eyes pointed at the sky looking for the next space rock aiming to knock on our door - or break it down.
Only twice before has a small asteroid been detected hours before colliding with Earth.
In 2008, 13-foot asteroid 2008 TC3 disintegrated over the skies of northern Sudan approximately 19 hours after discovery. The second predicted impact event was for asteroid 2014 AA, which was discovered only a few hours before impact on January 1, 2014, in the Atlantic Ocean, leaving too little time for follow-up observations. All three times the detection was done by the same Catalina Sky Survey telescope, and even in the same observer's shift Richard Kowalski.