Astronomers at the Konkoly Observatory in Hungary discovered an asteroid named 2022 EB5 shortly before it crashed into Earth. According to the researchers, it is the fifth object of this type detected shortly before colliding with our planet, after 2008 TC3, 2014 AA, 2018 LA and 2019 MO.
Astronomer Krisztian Sarneczky first saw the asteroid on March 11 with a telescope at the Piszkesteto observatory. He then reported this sighting to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center, which tracks near-Earth objects.
Calculations made by experts showed that the space rock had a 100 percent chance of hitting northern Iceland. As it was a small object, about a meter in diameter, it could disintegrate when it came into contact with the Earth’s atmosphere.
This discovery was highlighted by the scientific community, since it reveals how the technology used to identify this type of object that threatens to impact the Earth has improved in recent times.
“The five asteroids, detected before the impact, have been found since 2008, illustrating how much asteroid observation technologies have improved in recent years,” the European Space Agency said in a statement.
This detection system also allows knowing how fast the object is moving, what dimensions it has and where on the planet it could fall. This is useful when it comes to bodies or pieces that manage to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere.