On Saturday night, June 02, 2018, an asteroid disintegrated after it lit up above the surface of the earth, in the sky. It lasted only a few hours and was lost forever. In Botswana, a fireball was seen in the sky by the natives. The fireball was identified as an asteroid hurling down towards the earth at a speed of 10 miles per second. There was instant chaos amongst the people as it indicated a big disaster if the asteroid had hit the surface of the earth.
In the West of Johannesburg, a webcam in the rural area captured an ignited object moving quickly with a bright flash. NASA immediately started investigating the purpose and determined that the asteroid may collide with earth. The locations identified for collision were the Southern Africa, The Indian Ocean, and New Guinea. Soon the name of the asteroid was declared - 2018 LA.
Speculations were made how much damage could be caused, and what can be done, but the end of this whole dramatic event was something unexpected. If it had been some melodramatic movies, it would have been termed a miracle of the Almighty. Probably the asteroid didn’t come with an intention to mean any damage, and it was itself burning and at the verge of self-annihilation.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory could have come under its impact, but the good news is it burned up several miles above the surface of the earth. Generally, scientists do not get the opportunity to witness such an event. This 2018 LA was only the third asteroid discovered falling on the impact trajectory. The last one discovered was 2014 AA. This asteroid too was discovered only some hours before it came into contact with the earth’s atmosphere on the New Year’s day in 2014. The area of impact included the Atlantic Ocean.
NASA’s Planetary Defense team keeps an eye in the sky to monitor such events. Asteroids are formed when planets or stars violently collide with each other. The asteroids we know were created some 4.5 billion years ago. These are like rocks having properties of certain minerals and metals.
In the belt between Mars and Jupiter, there are hundreds of thousands of asteroids moving along with several other objects.
The asteroid seen was discovered by Catalina sky survey in the first place. The organization is operated by the University of Arizona and funded by NASA. They even released a video for the same.