Eddie Irizarry of the Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (Astronomical Society of the Caribbean) has been a NASA Solar System Ambassador since 2004. He loves public outreach and has published multiple astronomy articles for EarthSky, as well as for newspapers in Puerto Rico. He has also offered dozens of conferences related to asteroids and comets at the Arecibo Observatory.
Why is the internet so chock-full of stories about asteroids on a collision course with Earth? At this rate, we should have been obliterated many times over already. Here comes the newest scare story: asteroid 2007 FT3. No, it won’t hit us, either.
Asteroid 2019 MO exploded in our atmosphere with an energy of about 3 to 5 kilotons of TNT. Such events happen once or twice yearly, astronomers say. Most are unexpected, but this space rock was detected hours before it struck.
It wasn’t visible to the eye, but some telescope users in Earth’s Southern Hemisphere caught it at its May 25 closest approach. Now Northern Hemisphere observers will get their chance. Charts here, and check out this cool video!
A small asteroid – now designated as 2019 FC1 – flew closer to us than the moon on March 28, 2019. Astronomers detected it 1 day later. It’s the largest of 14 asteroids to pass closer to us than the moon since 2019 began.
On February 1, 2019, a small asteroid – thought to be the size of a van – disintegrated over Viñales, Cuba. Many caught the meteor and its smoke trail from the ground. Cruz María Ruiz caught them from an airplane.