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Asteroid 2022 WJ1 impacts Earth over Niagara Falls – the 6th asteroid detected before impact

asteroid 2022 wj1 reflection by nick moore

A newly-discovered asteroid designated 2022 WJ1 impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Niagara Falls at 08:27 UTC on November 19, 2022, becoming the 6th asteroid to be discovered before impacting Earth.

The object was first observed at Mt. Lemmon Survey at 04:53 UTC – just a couple of hours before the impact.

Asteroid 2022 WJ1 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. Its estimated diameter is between 0.5 and 1.2 m (1.6 – 3.9 feet).

The entry of this object produced a bright fireball and was captured on cameras.

Numerous people reported hearing a very loud boom associated with this event.

The American Meteor Society (AMS) has so far received only 33 reports (fireball event 8984-2022) and one video.

asteroid 2022 wj1 earth impact ams heatmap november 19 2022
Image credit: AMS (heatmap)

The other 5 asteroids detected before impacting Earth are:

  • 2008 TC3 – impacted over Nubian desert, Sudan on October 7, 2008. Discovered on October 6, 2008. Diameter: approximately 4 m (13 feet); Mass approximately 80 tons.
  • 2014 AA – impacted over the Atlantic Ocean, 3 000 km (1 864 miles) from Caracas, Venezuela on January 2, 2014. Discovered on January 1, 2014.  Diameter: approximately 3 m (9.8 feet); Mass approximately 40 tons.
  • 2018 LA – impacted over the Botswana-South Africa border on June 2, 2018. Discovered on June 2, 2018. Diameter: approximately 3 m (9.8 feet); Mass approximately 40 tons.
  • 2019 MO – impacted off the south coast of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Sea on June 22, 2019. Discovered on June 22, 2019. Diameter: approximately 5 m (9.8 feet); Mass approximately 200 tons.
  • 2022 EB5 – impacted southwest of Jan Mayen island in the Arctic Ocean at around 21:22 UTC on March 11, 2022. Discovered roughly two hours before impact. Diameter: approximately 3 m (9.8 feet).

All were small space rocks that did no damage when they broke up in our planet’s atmosphere.

References:

Asteroid 2022 WJ1 at Minor Planet Center; at CNEOS

Featured image credit: Nick Moore (stillshot)

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