Incoming!

I just got this news alert from the Space Weather website – “ASTEROID 2008 TC3: A small, newly-discovered asteroid named 2008 TC3 is approaching Earth and chances are good that it will hit. Measuring only a few meters across, the space rock poses no threat to people or structures on the ground, but it should create a spectacular fireball, releasing about a kiloton of energy as it disintegrates and explodes in the high atmosphere. At least one expert estimates that atmospheric entry will occur on Oct 7th at 0246 UTC over northern Sudan.” At least it wasn’t another Gamma-Ray burst.. Adds More here – “Since its discovery barely a day ago..” Update No images of the fireball yet, and I have been extremely fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time to have seen one of those in the past, but in the meantime here’s David Yeomans of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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  • Danny O’Connor

    Pete are you Lembit in disguise?

  • Joe

    Good post.
    Type ‘united Ireland ‘ into wikipedia and read. Very distressing reading for unionists. Not even your friends in england want you… ouch!!!!!

  • joeCanuck

    Dammit, Pete. I was just about to e-mail you about this but, as usual, you are a bit ahead of me. Grr.

  • McGrath

    Sudan will now have some CO2 deficit it will want to trade.

    Pete, any ideas on after the fact photography of the event?

  • McGrath

    Offset, not trade.

  • Comrade Stalin

    releasing about a kiloton of energy as it disintegrates

    I sincerely hope not.

  • Reader

    Comrade Stalin: I sincerely hope not.
    I think they mean a kiloton of High Explosive equivalent – not a kiloton of Total Conversion Energy!

  • 6countyprod

    Wow, this news is going to have a tremendous impact on the politics and culture of Northern Ireland.

  • eranu

    since its only just been discovered, how do they know something a few metres in size will burn up in the atmosphere?

  • circles

    “..and chances are good that it will hit.”

    And about time too. I was geting a bit sick of all this cosmic neglect we’ve been having. Hopefully this will encourage and executive meeting of the assembly.

  • Slugger O’Toole Admin

    No images of the fireball yet, although it has been reported.

    But I’ve updated the post with a JPL video interview.

    Pete

  • Comrade Stalin

    Reader:

    I think they mean a kiloton of High Explosive equivalent – not a kiloton of Total Conversion Energy!

    I very much hope you’re right, Pete’s not known for getting these things wrong. 🙂 Metal and rock aren’t exactly the easiest elements to annihilate ..

  • Pete Baker

    Comrade

    I just quoted the email alert. They didn’t specify the category of energy involved. ;o)

    But I suspect that Reader is right.

    The JPL video gives a good explanation of the process involved in the annihilation.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sorry Pete, I couldn’t resist 🙂

    While reading Wikipedia I found that 1kg converted into energy is, apparently, about equivalent to a 22,000 kiloton high explosive bomb. The largest nuclear bomb ever detonated (tsar bomba) is about 50 kiloton equivalent.