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  Saturday, December 14, 2019
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NASA said Tuesday that its scientists had calculated a meteorite's trajectory
NASA said Tuesday that its scientists had calculated a meteorite's trajectory and tracked its entry into Earth's atmosphere for the first time in the history of space exploration.

The 2-meter meteorite entered the atmosphere over Sudan at about 02:46 GMT Tuesday and broke into fiery fragments seconds later.

"We estimate objects this size enter Earth's atmosphere once every few months," said Don Yeomans of the Near-Earth Object Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "The unique aspect of this event is that it is the first time we have observed an impacting object during its final approach."

The small meteorite, designated 2008 TC3, was first spotted by the Mount Lemon telescope of the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey early Monday.

Its trajectory calculations were made under the Near Earth Object Observation Program, which plots the orbits of space objects to determine if they could be hazardous to the Earth.


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