Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

The First Discovered Asteroid of 2014 Collides With The Earth - An Update
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 06, 2014

Global map showing possible impact locations of 2014 AA based on Catalina Sky Survey images (blue band), and probable impact location based on infrasound data (red dot). Image credit: Steve Chesley - NASA/JPL

Several sources confirm that the first discovered asteroid of 2014, designated 2014 AA, entered the Earth's atmosphere late January 1 EST over the mid-Atlantic Ocean. This very small asteroid -- 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) in size was discovered, and immediately followed up, early on the morning of January 1 by the Catalina Sky Survey operating near Tucson Arizona. (An animation of the discovery images is shown in Figure 1). The asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere about 21 hours later, and probably broke up.

The high precision astrometry data and rapid follow-up observations provided by the Catalina Sky Survey team made it possible for orbit analysts from NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California to determine possible Earth impact locations.

Prior to impact, and based upon the Catalina Sky Survey observations, Steve Chesley (JPL) produced a plot of the possible Earth impact locations for asteroid 2014 AA. Chesley's graphic is shown in Figure 2, where the nearly horizontal blue band represents the region of possible impacts.

The geolocation derived by Chesley allowed Peter Brown (University of Western Ontario) and Petrus Jenniskens (SETI Institute) to search the data from low frequency infrasound observation sites of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

They found weak signals from stations in Bolivia, Brazil and Bermuda that indicated that the likely impact location was indeed positioned within the predicted impact area. The location of impact, marked with a red dot, is still somewhat uncertain due to observational factors, including atmospheric effects upon the propagation of infrasound signals.

Infrasound stations record ultra low frequency sound waves to monitor the location of atmospheric explosions. These sites often pick up airbursts from small asteroid impacts, commonly called fireballs or bolides. There about a billion near-Earth objects in the size range of 2014 AA, and impacts of comparably-sized objects occur several times each year.

Uncertainties present in the infrasound technique and the very limited amount of optical tracking data be fore impact make it difficult to precisely pinpoint the impact time and location. Even so, Chesley provides the following impact estimate:

Impact time: 2014 Jan. 2 at 4:02 UTC (Jan. 1 at 11:02 pm EST) Impact location coordinates: 11.7 deg N, 319.7 deg E.

This impact information is preliminary and has uncertainties of perhaps a few hundred kilometers in impact location and tens of minutes in impact time.

Prior to impact, the orbit of 2014 AA had a very low inclination (about 1 degree) with respect to the ecliptic plane and an orbit that ranged from 0.9 to 1.3 au from the sun with a period of about 1.2 years.

Thus ends our brief acquaintance with asteroid 2014 AA - from discovery by the Catalina Sky Survey to the infrasound whimpers of its demise in the Earth's atmosphere only 21 hours later.


Related Links
Near-Earth Object Program Office
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

First Asteroid Discovered in 2014 Has Little Impact
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 03, 2014
Early Wednesday morning January 1st, while New Year's 2014 celebrations were still underway in the United States, the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, AZ, collected a single track of observations with an immediate follow-up on what was possibly a very small asteroid 2-3 meters in size on a potential impact trajectory with the Earth. Designated 2014 AA, which would make it the first asteroi ... read more

Wake Up Yutu

Chang'e-3 satellite payload APXS obtained its first spectrum of lunar regolith

Chang'e 3 Lander and Rover From Above

China's moon rover "sleeps" through lunar night

One-way trip to Mars? Sign me up, says Frenchwoman

Clues from Orbit Aiding Exploration Of Opportunity Rover

Decade-Old Rover Adventure Continues on Mars and Earth

More than 1,000 chosen for one-way Mars reality-TV mission

Astronauts Practice Launching in NASA's New Orion Spacecraft

Only lawyers profit as tech giants go to war over patents

Space trips open to Chinese travelers

Work on NASA's New Orion Spacecraft Progresses as Engineers Pivot to 2014

China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

Deep space monitoring station abroad imperative

CU-Boulder to fly antibiotic experiment on ants to space station

New Science Bound for Station on Orbital's Cygnus

Antares and Cygnus Launch Update

Expedition 38 Sends New Year's Greetings on Off-Duty Day

'20 years of toil has paid off' Says Radhkrishnan

GSLV-D5 launch: What the success means

SpaceX launches second commercial satellite

Arianespace targets record year for rocket launches

Earth appears to be an oddity, astronomers say

Researchers use Hubble Telescope to reveal cloudy weather on alien world

NASA's Hubble Sees Cloudy Super-Worlds With Chance for More Clouds

Using an Atmosphere to Weigh a Planet

Japanese scientists move objects using acoustic levitation

Two new radar stations to be placed into service in Russia in 2014

AVX Announces Market Introduction of First Space-Level BME MLCC

Supercomputers Join Search for 'Cheapium'

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal 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. 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. Privacy Statement