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Weather satellite, radar detecting car size asteroid exploding in the atmosphere



The GOES-16 weather satellite is designed to detect lightning strikes. This weekend saw an asteroid.

Kl. At 16:00 on Saturday afternoon, meteorologists discovered an unusual light flash signature across the Caribbean waters 270 kilometers south of Puerto Rico. Its light was visible in an area as large as Rhode Island – too big to be lightning. Plus there were no clouds in the area. It had to be something else. The answer turned out to be something out of this world.

A spattering of dirt appeared on the National Weather Service in San Juan's radar. It is a sign of a meteor or asteroid effect.

How big was that? About 4 to 5 meters in diameter or the size of the car.

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Then the asteroid entering the atmosphere, Spaceweather.com reports that the extensive core experimental banning infrasound station in Bermuda discovered "air waves" associated with the blast. Its recording station is located more than 1

600 km away from where the asteroid hit, yet the station "heard" it. But ordinary sound cannot travel that far; if it could, then everyone in Miami, Cuba and Puerto Rico should have heard the blast. It was another type of sound: infralyd.

People can detect sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. It is a measure of how many times per second air pockets vibrate back and forth, jiggling sensory receptors in our ear that treat sound. Dogs can hear frequencies twice as high – close to 40,000 Hertz – that's why they want to crawl over a whistle that we simply can't hear.

When you get to the low side of the spectrum, you speak "infralyd". In infrasound wave, there can be only a few vibrations per second. Second, which makes the frequency too low so we can hear. But that does not mean that the sound is not there.

Asteroid's explosion produced a dramatic infrasound signal in the form of an "airwave" that curled around it. According to waver steam images shared by SpaceWeather.com, the asteroid is split into at least three pieces. The explosion itself released an energy equivalent to more than 6000 tons of TNT, even though the fireball itself weighs 200 tons.

Since infrasound waves have a very long wavelength, they can travel long distances. The combination of knowledge of where the asteroid struck with the magnitude of the signal recorded in Bermuda, meteor expert Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario could conclude that it was a "multimeter size near earth asteroid".

The University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy wrote that this particular asteroid was probably small enough to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere (SpaceWeather.com wrote small fragments of the asteroid, known as meteorites, probably spraying the sea surface) . But space-borne objects that are somewhat larger can pose a threat to the earthlings, as evidenced by the February 2013 meteor, which injured more than 1,000 people in Chelyabinksk, Russia.

<img class = "lazyimg" alt = "The GOES-16 weather satellite records an asteroid, the size of a car. 19659013] CIRA / CSU, RAMMB / NOAA / NASA

The GOES-16 weather satellite detects an asteroid size of a car.

NASA has identified most major near earth objects, the kind that can lead to a global catastrophe if they hit (expected to happen once every 700,000 years). has proven to be a challenge to discover smaller objects that can damage the effects.

In what called a breakthrough, the University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy stated that it had discovered Saturday's relatively small incoming asteroid in a press release already

Its telescopes observed the asteroid "four times over a period of 30 minutes," the release said. It was about seven hours before the asteroid struck.

"At that time, the asteroid was only [500,000km] from Earth – or 1.3 times the distance to the moon. "[19659002] When they matched data from another telescope 160km away, the "asteroid entry path prediction improved significantly" and it was considered "likely" the asteroid would hit the ground.

The estimated objects the size of Saturday's asteroid can be detected about half a day in advance with larger – like the 2013 Chelyabinsk event – several days out. One was the size of a small house.

"For the first time, astronomers at the University of Hawai & # 39; have shown that their ATLAS and Pan-STARRS study telescopes can provide enough warning to move people away from the battlefield of an incoming asteroid," the institute wrote.


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