Friday, Dec 19, 2014Friday, Dec 19, 2014

 

Nasa scrambles for better asteroid detection

Published on Feb 19, 2013 5:50 AM
 
This Nasa graphic obtained on Feb 8, 2013, depicts the Earth flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. Nasa, universities and private groups in the United States are working on asteroid warning systems that can detect objects from space like the one that struck Russia last week with a blinding flash and mighty boom. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Nasa, universities and private groups in the United States (US) are working on asteroid warning systems that can detect objects from space like the one that struck Russia last week with a blinding flash and mighty boom.

But the US space agency reiterated that events like the one in the Urals, which shattered windows and injured nearly 1,000 people, are rare.

"We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average," said Mr Paul Chodas of Nasa's Near-Earth Object Programme Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Nasa estimates that before entering the Earth's atmosphere above Russia, the asteroid measured 17 metres in diameter and weighed 10 tons.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos