Kw-logo-smaller

Meteor-Right

A Meteor Lands On Earth

On October 7, 2008, an asteroid the size of a car blazed through the atmosphere and crashed into an African desert.

For the first time in history, scientists were able to watch the asteroid as it flew through space, entered Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into the desert. Named 2008 TC3, it’s the first asteroid to be observed both in space and on Earth.

Asteroids the size of 2008 TC3 aren’t uncommon, and fragments from one usually strike Earth every year. Because they are so small, Earth-bound asteroids usually remain unseen until they enter our atmosphere. Larger asteroids are easier to see, but are more rare.


In the case of 2008 TC3, astronomers first saw it on October 6 through a telescope on a mountain in Arizona. As they watched it move across the sky, they studied its mineral composition by observing how it reflected sunlight, and used tracking equipment to predict when it would impact Earth.


Shortly after the collision, a team of African scientists and students headed out into the desert to look for meteorites, which are pieces of the asteroid that survived the fiery trip through the atmosphere and landed on Earth. They brought back about 47 meteorites from 2008 TC3.


When they studied the fragments, they discovered new information about the characteristics of different kinds of meteorites. They also gained some valuable information: if a larger and more dangerous asteroid ever comes crashing toward Earth scientists might see it coming.


More Stories

  • Space Terms
  • Lake Louise Meteor
  • Meteor Showers
  • readers voted!

    Comments

    there are 0 comments

    Please login or register to add comments


    like this article?
    Sign up now to get more just like it!

    latest videos

    F1024956583296

    What Would You Think? Vote!

    • I would totally have thought the meteor was an airplane.
    • I would probably have thought it was a shooting star.
    • I would have known right away it was a meteor.
    • I wouldn't have known what it was.

    related stories

    Random in the forums

    blackveilbrides15
    Copper
    reply 14 minutes
    blakbutterfly
    blakbutterfly posted in General:
    Banned for being mentally hilarious!
    reply 16 minutes
    iNutellaTwilight
    reply 16 minutes
    blakbutterfly
    blakbutterfly posted in General:
    42
    reply 16 minutes
    blakbutterfly
    blakbutterfly posted in General:
    Compromise
    reply 18 minutes

    play online games

    Valantine-day-crossword-thumb

    Valentine's Day is almost here! Time for candy, hearts, flowers, love and, of co...

    Goodgameempire-thumb

    Goodgame Empire is a great strategy title by Goodgame Studios. Build your own ca...

    Black-history-month-crossword-pre

    Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

    Black-history-month-crossword-pre

    Black History Month is a time to celebrate the amazing contributions of African ...

    Blobthrower-thumb

    Shoot blobs with different properties to merge yellow blobs. Your blobs can be r...

    Candy-cash-thumb

    Candy's got her candies into a terrible mess, can you help her to sort them out?

    Candy-100

    A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

    _thumb_100x100

    Bloons 2 is here! A worthy and awesome sequel at last to our original Bloons gam...