Small Asteroid Disintegrates Over Africa

A small asteroid — which had just been discovered earlier in the day — disintegrated over Africa on Saturday, NASA said.

The tiny space rock, roughly six feet long, entered Earth’s atmosphere at the high speed of 38,000 mph and broke apart several miles above the surface, creating a bright fireball that lit up the evening sky, the agency said.

The event was witnessed by a number of observers and was caught on webcam video.

The object surprised astronomers shortly after its discovery, when its trajectory suggested it would pass very, very close to Earth just hours later, according to EarthSky.org.

When it was spotted, astronomers realized there was a possibility of an Earth impact. However, the asteroid was determined to be very small and therefore harmless.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Doyle Rice

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