SUDAN WATCH: Asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth and exploded in the atmosphere over northern Sudan on Tuesday October 07, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth and exploded in the atmosphere over northern Sudan on Tuesday October 07, 2008

From spaceweather.com Wednesday October 08, 2008 - ASTEROID IMPACT - report excerpt:
On Tuesday October 07, 2008, asteroid 2008 TC3 hit Earth and exploded in the atmosphere over northern Sudan.

The only report of a visual sighting comes from Jacob Kuiper, 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.
So far, no ground pictures of the fireball have been submitted; the impact occurred in a remote area with few and possibly no onlookers capable of recording the event.

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 5 to 10 times a year, but this is the first time one has been discovered before it hit.
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The full story of Earth-impacting asteroid 2008 TC3

The asteroid was 2 metres wide. Sorry no pics. The atmospheric entry occurred over an extremely remote location on Earth, just 20 hours after it was first discovered. Here is an excerpt from commentary at The Planetary Society Blog by Emily Lakdawalla, October 07, 2008 - The full story of Earth-impacting asteroid 2008 TC3:
"...All in all, I think the episode of 2008 TC3 has proven that the world's astronomical community, at least, is prepared to respond when an object on a collision course is detected. Within just a few hours of its discovery, the digitally connected world knew exactly where and when the object would hit, and also that it posed no threat. It was a wonderful simulation of the first part of the call to arms when a truly threatening object is detected.

But of course we now have to ask ourselves: what would have happened if the object was much bigger than 2 meters in diameter? Reassuringly, the first thing that would have happened is that the detection most likely would have happened much earlier. The bigger and more hazardous an object is, the brighter it is, and the sooner we will detect it. We will likely have way more than 20 hours' warning of an incoming dangerous object. Still, though, the warning time for a tens-of-meter-diameter object could only be measured in days. If we'd had three days' warning of a dangerous impactor heading for Sudan, what could the world have done? The remote location of the impact would have been fortunate for humanity in general, but disastrous for the few people who lived out in that remoteness. Could the developed world have done anything to prevent yet another humanitarian disaster from befalling the Sudanese?
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Sudan Watch Ed: No, the developed world would not have been able to prevent such a disaster befalling the Sudanese because thousands of Sudanese rebels would blame the fireball on the Sudanese government who, in turn, would blame it on the rebels, and they'd all get into a fight over it, running around killing each other, as usual, while preventing aid from reaching those most in need and stopping the developed world from helping ...

Sorry bad joke, bad mood. I'm still shocked at the horrific attacks on Darfur peacekeepers. I reckon the death toll by now is somewhere approaching 70 - not to mention the countless number of peackeepers in Sudan who have survived attacks, suffered injuries, post traumatic stress etc., and the impact on their families, friends and colleagues.

Hey world and all you noisy rebel supporting Darfuri activists out there, where's the outrage?

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