A near miss: 2008 TC3

2008 TC3Detected only 20 hours before, the meteoroid designated 2008 TC3 burns up and explodes in Earth’s atmosphere, exploding 23 miles above the Sudanese desert. Estimated to be over ten feet in diameter prior to losing most of its mass to heating in the Earth’s atmosphere, 2008 TC3 is thought to have weighed in at approximately 80 tons; hundred of fragments with a total weight of a little over 20 pounds are recovered from the desert. This is the first Near-Earth Object detected prior to impact or destruction by the NASA-funded Spaceguard survey, though the time between detection, confirmation and arrival is less than a day.