Posted by Dee Norris
2008 TC3 was discovered on Monday by an observer at the Mt Lemmon Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. 2008 TC3 is notable in that it is the first Asteroid of its size that was identified before impact and tracking it put the entire Spaceguard tracking system to an extreme test.
TC3 is estimated to be only two to five meters in diameter but exploded with the force of a one kiloton nuclear device. Asteroids of this size hit the Earth every few months according JPL scientists.
No deaths have been reported yet.
The important lesson here is that Spaceguard is able to identify and track these smaller objects as well as the larger ones. A 20 to 50 meter asteroid exploding over a major city could result in a significant loss of property and life. The most imagined dire consequences of AGW could never stack up to the actual consequences of a larger asteroid actually impacting nearly anywhere on the Earth. If for this reason alone, funding for space exploration needs to be continued.
UPDATE1: Please note that the use of an alarmist headline and imagery to increase the casual reader’s desire to look at the entire article was an intentional parody. – Dee
UPDATE2: See this article on whats happening in the world of astronomy due to this event. – Anthony