Scientists see asteroid hurtle to Earth

"Scientists see asteroid hurtle to Earth

PARIS (AFP) – Stunned astronomers watched a car-sized asteroid explode into a brilliant meteor shower as it crashed into Earth’s atmosphere, and then wandered into a Sudan desert to pick up the pieces, a study released Wednesday reported.

It was the first time ever that scientists recovered fragments from an asteroid detected in space, according to the study, published in the British journal Nature.

“Any number of meteorites have been observed as fireballs and smoking meteor trails as they come through the atmosphere,” said co-author Douglas Rumble, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution.

“But to actually see this object before it gets to the Earth’s atmosphere and then follow it in – that’s the unique thing.” "…

Entire article: news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090325/sc_afp/sciencespaceasteroidmeteor_20090325225224

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