Pint-sized asteroid spotted just hours before slamming into Earth’s atmosphere

A small asteroid - which had just been discovered earlier in the day - disintegrated over Africa on Saturday, NASA said.

While the thought of a 6-foot-wide rock hurling towards us at 38,000 miles per hour might seem like a good reason to be alarmed, NASA views the discovery differently.

NASA Headquarters' Planetary Defense Officer, Lindley Johnson, said, "The Asteroid was a very small object to identify and notify".

Smaller Items are fainter and more challenging to spot at a massive sky, though attempts such as the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey are able to seek a larger area of skies to obtain these somewhat evasive objects.

You may be surprised to learn that, according to CNEOS manager Paul Chodas, this is only the third time that an asteroid with an Earth trajectory has been discovered.

The Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter contains hundreds of thousands of asteroids more than half a mile in size or more, with millions of smaller objects tumbling in space.

JUST hours after United States space agency NASA detected it, an asteroid smashed into Botswana, Africa on the weekend. The asteroid was only discovered by NASA hours before it slammed into Earth.

First, the asteroid crashed into the atmosphere over land, where people could witness it disintegrating as a bright fireball in the sky. The asteroid hit Earth's atmosphere over the southern African nation of Botswana at 12:44 p.m. EDT (1644 GMT) while hurtling down at a whopping 38,000 miles per hour (61,155 km/h).

The video below, posted on YouTube by Barend Swanepoel, shows footage of the asteroid coming down between Ottosdal and Hartebeesfontein in South Africa.

As per the calculations of the NEO watchers, the Asteroid entered the atmosphere in the region like Papua New Guinea to the Indian Ocean which is nearer to Africa.

Because astronomers spotted the space rock when it was so close to our planet, they couldn't say exactly where it would impact.

A large Asteroid went undetected in 2013 until the cosmic body collided in the atmosphere.

The first event of this kind was the impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, which lit up the predawn sky above Northern Sudan on October 7, 2008.

In 2008, an asteroid measuring 4 metres was spotted 19 hours in advance. All three times the detection was done by the same Catalina Sky Survey telescope, and even in the same observer's shift Richard Kowalski. 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.

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