[meteorite-list] Asteroid 2008 TC3 Fireball Observed from Airliner

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 11:07:53 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200810071807.LAA01199_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Space Weather News
October 7, 2008

ASTEROID IMPACT: Asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth this
morning (Oct. 7th at 0243 UT), exploding in the atmosphere over northern
Sudan like a kiloton of TNT. Most of the 3-meter-wide asteroid should
have been vaporized in the atmosphere with only small pieces reaching
the ground as meteorites. So far, no pictures of the fireball have been
submitted; the impact occured in a remote area with few (and possibly
no) onlookers capable of recording the event. Nevertheless, the asteroid
did strike Earth as predicted.

This confirming report comes from Jacob Kuiper
<mailto:jacobkuiper at solcon.nl>, General Aviation meteorologist at the
National Weather Service in the Netherlands: "Half an hour before the
predicted impact of asteroid 2008 TC3, I informed an official of
Air-France-KLM at Amsterdam airport about the possibility that crews of
their airliners in the vicinity of impact would have a chance to see a
fireball. And it was a success! I have received confirmation that a KLM
airliner, roughly 750 nautical miles southwest of the predicted
atmospheric impact position, has observed a short flash just before the
expected impact time 0246 UTC. Because of the distance it was not a very
large phenomenon, but still a confirmation that some bright meteor has
been seen in the predicted direction. Projected on an infrared
of Meteosat-7 of 0300 UTC, I have indicated the position of the plane
(+) and the predicted impact area in Sudan (0)."

2008 TC3 was discovered on Oct. 6th by astronomers using the Mt. Lemmon
telescope in Arizona as part of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey for
near-Earth objects. Asteroids the size of 2008 TC3 hit Earth every few
months, but this is the first time one has been discovered before it hit.
Received on Tue 07 Oct 2008 02:07:53 PM PDT

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