24/7 Space News
IRON AND ICE
NASA's Scout System successfully predicts small asteroid impact over Germany
This map shows the location where the small asteroid 2024 BX1 harmlessly impacted Earth's atmosphere over Germany, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) west of Berlin, on Jan. 21. The successful prediction and observation of asteroid 2024 BX1 underscore the effectiveness and importance of NASA's ongoing efforts in planetary defense. Systems like Scout are essential for early detection and tracking, providing critical data that helps mitigate potential threats from space and ensuring the safety of our planet.
ADVERTISEMENT
NASA's Scout System successfully predicts small asteroid impact over Germany
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jan 25, 2024

In a recent demonstration of NASA's advancing planetary defense capabilities, a small asteroid, approximately 3 feet (1 meter) in size, disintegrated harmlessly over Germany. This event occurred on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 1:32 a.m. local time (CET). Notably, NASA's Scout impact hazard assessment system provided a 95-minute advance warning of the asteroid's impact trajectory, marking this event as the eighth instance in history where a small Earth-bound asteroid was detected in space before entering and disintegrating in our atmosphere.

The asteroid, later designated 2024 BX1, produced a bright fireball, or bolide, visible from as far as the Czech Republic. It may have scattered small meteorites near the impact site approximately 37 miles (60 kilometers) west of Berlin.

While NASA's focus remains on near-Earth objects (NEOs) of all sizes, the agency has a particular mandate from Congress to detect and track NEOs 140 meters in size and larger. These larger objects pose a significant risk if they were to impact Earth. However, smaller asteroids like 2024 BX1, despite posing no hazard to life, offer valuable opportunities to test and demonstrate NASA's planetary defense systems.

The detection of 2024 BX1 was made possible by Krisztian Sarneczky at the Piszkesteto Mountain Station of the Konkoly Observatory near Budapest, Hungary. The asteroid was first observed less than three hours before its impact.

These early observations were promptly reported to the Minor Planet Center, the internationally recognized hub for tracking small solar system bodies, and subsequently posted on the center's Near-Earth Object Confirmation Page. This quick reporting facilitated additional observations by astronomers across Europe.

Scout, developed and operated by the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, played a crucial role in predicting this impact. The system automatically fetched the new data, calculating the object's potential trajectory and impact probability. CNEOS, responsible for calculating the orbit of every known NEO, provides these assessments to the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The rapid data collection and analysis by Scout were instrumental. With just three observations posted over 27 minutes, Scout initially identified the possibility of an impact and signaled the need for urgent additional observations. As more data was reported, the asteroid's trajectory became clearer, and the likelihood of it impacting Earth increased significantly. Within 70 minutes of the first observation, Scout reported a 100% probability of Earth impact, continuously refining the predicted location and time as more data flowed in.

The first asteroid to be discovered and tracked before impacting Earth was 2008 TC3, which broke up over Sudan in October 2008. This 13-foot-wide (4-meter-wide) asteroid scattered hundreds of meteorites across the Nubian Desert. Another small asteroid, 2023 CX1, was detected seven hours before it entered Earth's atmosphere over northwestern France in early 2023. Like 2024 BX1, Scout accurately predicted the location and time of impact for 2023 CX1.

As NEO surveys become increasingly sophisticated and sensitive, more of these harmless objects are being detected before they enter Earth's atmosphere. These detections are not just a testament to the technological advances but also provide practical scenarios for NASA's planetary defense program. The information gleaned from such events is crucial in shaping the agency's mitigation strategies for larger, potentially hazardous objects that may be detected on a collision course with Earth in the future.

Related Links
NASA Scout
Minor Planet Cente
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters

RELATED CONTENT
The following news reports may link to other Space Media Network websites.
IRON AND ICE
Nuclear deflection simulations advance planetary defense against asteroid threats
Livermore CA (SPX) Dec 21, 2023
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a modeling tool for assessing the potential use of a nuclear device to defend the planet against catastrophic asteroid impacts. The research, published in the Planetary Science Journal, introduces a novel approach to simulating the energy deposition from a nuclear device on an asteroid's surface. This new tool improves our understanding of the nuclear deflection's radiation interactions on the asteroid's surface while open ... read more

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
IRON AND ICE
Sierra Space unveils full-scale prototype of expandable space station structure

Salad in space? New study says it's not a healthy choice

Ax-3 Crew Joins Expedition 70 in Space Station for Dual Operations and Research

ISS set to receive enhanced HPE Supercomputer

IRON AND ICE
CAS Space achieves new milestone with Kinetica 1 Y3 launch deploying 5 satellites

Spain's PLD Space Selected for European Institutional Space Launch Contracts

Equatorial Launch Australia unveils advanced horizontal integration facility

China's LandSpace achieves new feat with Zhuque-3's Vertical Recovery Test

IRON AND ICE
NASA helicopter's mission ends after three years on Mars

New Year, New images from Perseverance on Mars

Polka Dots and Sunbeams: Sol 4078

Buried water ice at the Martian equator

IRON AND ICE
Shenzhou 18 and 19 crews undertake intensive training for next missions

Tianzhou 6 burns up safely reentering Earth

Yan Hongsen's future dreams as 'Rocket Boy'

China's Tianzhou 7 docks with Tiangong Space Station

IRON AND ICE
Into the Starfield

Booz Allen Ventures Invests in Albedo's groundbreaking VLEO satellite technology

Sidus ships LizzieSat to Vandenberg for upcoming SpaceX launch

Small solar sails could be the next 'giant leap' for interplanetary space exploration

IRON AND ICE
Novel color holographic 3D display offers enhanced viewing angle

Redwire joins forces with Blue Origin on Blue Ring Space Mobility Platform

Scientists trap krypton atoms to form one-dimensional gas

GMV and Astroscale UK spearhead new ESA initiative for improved satellite collision avoidance

IRON AND ICE
New Insights into Earth's Earliest Life Forms Discovered in Palaeoarchaean Rock Samples

Revolutionizing Chemistry: Over 4 Billion Early-Life Reactions Simulated via Blockchain

NASA's Hubble Finds Water Vapor in Small Exoplanet's Atmosphere

Shallow soda lakes show promise as cradles of life on Earth

IRON AND ICE
New images reveal what Neptune and Uranus really look like

Researchers reveal true colors of Neptune, Uranus

The PI's Perspective: The Long Game

Webb rings in the holidays with the ringed planet Uranus

Subscribe Free To Our Daily Newsletters


ADVERTISEMENT



The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2023 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.