SCIENTISTS SPOT LAST MINUTE METEOR HOURS BEFORE IT STIKES BOTSWANA
NASA does a lot of work that we take for granted because we don’t know they’re doing it. Well, that’s true for now. We’ll see what’s left of NASA after Trump is done with hit. Anyway, one job we don’t hear much about that NASA does is it tracks stuff floating in space that might be a danger to us. But there’s a lot of stuff floating around up there. They discovered one last weekend which they called 2018 LA. It was spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. They first saw the rock when it was about as far away as the moon is from Earth. They realized it was on a collision course with us and narrowed down its collision course to southern Africa. The meteor hit in Botswana, just hours after its discovery.
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Somehow, NASA manages to track 90% of near-Earth bodies that are larger than 460 feet in diameter. But that means they often miss smaller ones until they’re much closer for them to see. That’s what happened with 2018 LA. First, it was only 6 feet wide. Second, it was moving really, really fast. When it entered our atmosphere it was moving at about 38,000 miler per hour. It’s amazing what some of these scientists are able to do. In this case, the scientists were correct with their predictions. It entered our atmosphere at 6:44 pm in local Botswana time, which is pretty much where and when the NASA scientists said it would.
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6-FOOT-WIDE METEOR HIT ATMOSPHERE DOING 38,000 MILES-PER-HOUR
The small meteor created a fireball as it sped thru our atmosphere at 38,000 miles-per-hour, lighting up the Botswana sky. But that dynamic is what makes NASA’s work monitoring these objects so important. 2018 LA was only 6 feet wide. But larger objects are a different story.
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Yes, they’ll make fireballs, too. But they’ll also hit our planet with much more force and mass at speeds that makes the impact terrifying. Little ones like 2018 LA usually arrive with little to no warning, but they don’t really do any damage. But maybe this is a reminder that we need to keep funding this work at NASA. Maybe we can increase their budget? Just an idea.