Friday, March 27, 2009

Tracking asteroids ...

Asteroid tracked in space, right down to Sudanese desert.
As 2008 TC3 hurtled through space, researchers studied the spectra of sunlight reflected from its surface to get information about the asteroid’s mineral composition. The spectra showed that the asteroid was likely to come from the mysterious F-class of asteroids, a class only observed in space but not yet found as a meteorite on Earth..

Monitoring 2008 TC3’s progress, researchers correctly predicted that it would impact the Nubian Desert of northern Sudan about 19 hours after it was first spotted. Eyewitnesses reported seeing a fireball as the asteroid exploded over the desert.

Jenniskens and 45 students and staff from the University of Khartoum in Sudan searched for remnants along the asteroid’s projected path. The recovery team eventually found about 47 meteorites from 2008 TC3.

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