Asteroids: Space rock hurtling towards Earth burns up at atmosphere above California
There is a very slim chance of an asteroid actually hitting Earth, according to scientists. However, a new report reveals that an asteroid may have attempted to enter the Earth’s atmosphere, but burned up upon contact above California.
Express reports that an explosion occurred above California over the weekend when an asteroid burned up onto the Earth’s atmosphere. Locals witnessed a bright explosion in the sky last week. The International Meteor Organization initially assessed this as an old satellite failing to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and thus exploded upon contact. However, after further analysis, they found that it was an Earth-bound asteroid that was hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 55,800 kilometers per hour.
The American Meteor Society was able to take a video of the occurrence. The footage showed the asteroid falling into Earth, and emitting a stream of small blasts. Incidentally, it was the blasts that made the authorities believe it was space debris but later found that it was an asteroid. Space objects such as asteroids and meteors tend to produce a bright explosion in the sky when they reach the atmosphere. This is because this would be the first time the space rocks met resistance. The air seeps into these rocks causing it to crack and explode.
The asteroid may have failed in entering the atmosphere in one piece now, perhaps due to its size, but a space rock falling through and crashing into the Earth is inevitable. NASA has explained the actual chances of an asteroid crashing into the planet and has emphasized that there is always that risk.
The agency explained that there is always a 0.1 percent chance every year that a large space rock may cause great damage to a city. Narrowing it down further, in case that particular 0.1 percent chance happens, there will be a 70 percent chance of the rock hitting the ocean compared to its hitting space of land. In case it does land on a space of land, then there is a 20 percent chance it will crash into an area that is not populated.