New map shows that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere

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This new map reveals that small asteroids frequently enter and disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere ramdomly around the world.

Over the last 20 years, about 556 small asteroids impacted Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in a bolide (or fireball).

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Map shows small asteroid impacts on Earth’s atmosphere from 1994 to 2013 that created bright meteor fireballs. Red dots are daytime impacts and blue dots are nighttime impacts. They are shown proportional to the optical radiated energy of impacts measured in billions of Joules (GJ) of energy, and show the location of impacts from objects about 3 feet (1 meter) to almost 60 feet (20 meters) in size. Nasa’s Near Earth Object Program.

As described by Astronomy.com:

[quote_box_center]Almost all asteroids of this size disintegrate in the atmosphere and are usually harmless.

The notable exception was the Chelyabinsk event, which was the largest asteroid to hit Earth over the las 20 years.

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The new data by the NASA’s Near Earth Object Program could help scientists better refine estimates of the distribution of the sizes of NEOs, including larger ones that could pose a danger to Earth.

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