An astronomer discovered an asteroid approximately 2 hours before it impacted Earth over the Arctic Ocean on March 11, 2022. The fireball in this image, from January 21, 1999, is an example of what the incoming bright meteor may have looked like to witnesses. Image via P. Spurnyis/ American Meteor Society.
If you’re still reading this … then we must be okay! Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky at Konkoly Observatory‘s Piszkésteto Station discovered a small, approximately 10-foot-wide (3 meters) asteroid just two hours before it hit Earth. The asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere north of Iceland on March 11, 2022, at 21:22 UTC.
Asteroid impacts Earth just 2 hours after discovery
The asteroid, named 2022 EB5, is no more. It was small enough that it disintegrated as it entered our atmosphere. Asteroid 2022 EB5 is only the 5th asteroid discovered before its impact with Earth.
The International Meteor Organization is seeking reports of anyone who may have seen the brilliant light the asteroid would have created as it burned up on entry. A few people in Iceland reported seeing a bright flash of light or hearing a boom. If you live around Iceland and Norway and believe you saw the resulting meteor from the asteroid impacting with Earth, click the link to report your observations.
Bottom line: An astronomer discovered asteroid 2022 EB5 just two hours before it impacted Earth over the Arctic Ocean. Fortunately, it was small and burned up upon entry.