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Impact of Asteroid 2008 TC3 Confirmed

Don Yeomans
NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
October 7, 2008

Confirmation has been received that the asteroid impact fireball occurred at the predicted time and place. The energy recorded was estimated to be 0.9 to 1.0 kT of TNT and the time of detection was 02:45:45 on October 7 (Greenwich Standard Time). More details on this detection will be forthcoming. An additional confirmation was apparently reported by a KLM airliner (see: http://www.spaceweather.com/). As reported by Peter Brown (University of Western Ontario, Canada), a preliminary examination of infrasound stations nearest to the predicted impact point shows that at least one station recorded the event. These measurements are consistent with the predicted time and place of the atmospheric impact and indicate an estimated energy of 1.1 - 2.1 kT of TNT.

The follow-up astrometric observations from professional and sophisticated amateur astronomers alike were rather extraordinary, with 570 observations from 26 observatories being reported between the time of discovery by the Catalina Sky Survey to just before the object entered Earth's shadow (57 minutes prior to impact). All this happened in less than 19 hours!

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