Feeds

Earth cops first asteroid impact of 2014

Tiny intruder nearly missed by everyone

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

It's no surprise it passed almost unnoticed since it was no Chelyabinsk, but the Earth has already been taken its first asteroid impact of 2014.

The asteroid, with observations recorded here, burned in the atmosphere somewhere over the Atlantic on January 2, according to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.

Designated 2014 AA, the small asteroid was first observed on New Year's Eve by Richard Kowalski using the Arizona Mount Lemmon 60-inch telescope, which is part of the Catalina Sky Survey.

With only a few observations to work from (shown in the image below), orbital calculations were difficult, but the Minor Planet Center's Bill Gray and NASA JPL's Steve Chesley agreed that it impacted sometime between 2pm January 1 and 9am January 2, EST.

The Catalina Sky Survey's discovery images of asteroid 2014 AA.

Image: Catalina Sky Survey, Lunar & Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona

As the Catalina Sky Survey states, “because of the orbit uncertainty the potential impact locations are widely distributed, falling along an arc extending from Central America to East Africa with the best-fit, most likely impact location to be just off the coast of West Africa at about 9 pm EST January 1st”.

The astronomers believe the 2014 AA was between 2m and 3m in size, and its entry and break-up may have been recorded by infrasound stations in the region.

According to Sky and Telescope, the University of Western Ontario's Peter Brown has conducted an infrasound analysis and believes the entry point of the asteroid was around 3,000 km east of Caracas in Venezuela. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.