Watch: Asteroid Explodes Over South Africa – Just Hours After Being Discovered

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Top Tier Gear USA

The incredible moment a high-speed asteroid the size of a car exploded just seconds before impact was captured on video by two farmers in South Africa.

From NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory:

A boulder-sized asteroid designated 2018 LA was discovered Saturday morning, June 2, and was determined to be on a collision course with Earth, with impact just hours away. Because it was very faint, the asteroid was estimated to be only about 6 feet (2 meters) across, which is small enough that it was expected to safely disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere. Saturday’s asteroid was first discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson and operated by the University of Arizona.

The asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere at the high speed of 10 miles per second (38,000 mph, or 17 kilometers per second) at about 16:44 UTC (9:44 a.m. PDT, 12:44 p.m. EDT,6:44 p.m. local Botswana time) and disintegrated several miles above the surface, creating a bright fireball that lit up the evening sky, NASA reports.

Here’s the video footage from farmers Barend Swanepoel and Vicus Van Zyl:

Did you ever wonder how NASA spots asteroids that maybe getting too close to Earth for comfort?

Watch the following video to find out.

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