On 2022 March 11, K. Sarneczky found a small asteroid using the 0.60-m Schmidt + CCD of GINOP-KHK, Piszkesteto (K88 MPC code) that was soon after put on the NEOCP list with the provisional designation Sar2593 for the follow-up by other observers. The Minor Planet Center subsequently assigned the following official designation to this object 2022 EB5.
Discovery images (19:25UT) of asteroid 2022 EB5:
Credit: K. Sarneczky
At 20:46UT of March 11, Bill Gray sent an alert in the MPML mailing list about the impact of Sar2593 with the Earth’s atmosphere and: “to urge European observers to take a look for this object, currently on NEOCP. It should come in at 21:23 UTC at latitude +70.47, longitude W 10.40, plus or minus a few dozen km. That’s about forty minutes from “right now”, a bit north of Iceland.”
Below you can see a map of the impact location as calculated by Gray, southwest of Jan Mayen island:
Below an animation showing the impact trajectory:
Below a follow-up image obtained by P. Bacci & M. Maestripieri at the San Marcello Pistoiese Observatory (104 MPC code) just about 15 minutes before its impact.
2022 EB5 is a small Apollo asteroid with an estimated size of 1.0 m – 2.3 m (based on the object’s absolute magnitude H=32.1). 2022 EB5 impact infrasound detection in Greenland had been published by P. Brown: “From this data yield is approximately 2-3 kT TNT. At 15 km/s, this is roughly 3-4 m diameter”.
2022 EB5 impact infrasound in Greenland. Bottom plot is pressure (in Pa) bandpassed from 0.1-1 Hz; signal is green /yellow window. Each dot is a 2 min time window – signal is coming from East (2nd plot from bottom) and more correlated than noise (top plot) across the array. pic.twitter.com/MWsYutUYIx
— Peter Brown (@pgbrown) March 12, 2022
This is the fifth time in history that an impacting object is observed prior to atmospheric entry:
- The first time it happened was with asteroid 2008 TC3
- the second was with asteroid 2014 AA
- the third was 2018 LA that impacted Earth on 02 June 2018
- the fourth was with asteroid 2019 MO that impactyed Earth on 22 June 2019.
Another space impacting object discovered prior to its to atmospheric entry was WT1190F but it is thought to have been a space debris, possibly the translunar injection module of Lunar Prospector. [Remanzacco]
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