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Meteoroid 2008 TC3
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WORKSHOP ON ASTEROID 2008 TC3
University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
Dec 5-15, 2009


The University of Khartoum, Faculty of Sciences and Physics Department, and the SETI Institute invite planetary astronomers and meteoriticists to participate in a workshop dedicated to asteroid 2008 TC3. Asteroid 2008 TC3 was the first asteroid to be detected in space and subsequently found to impact the Earth. Fragments were recovered in the Nubian Desert of northern Sudan in the form of rare ureilite meteorites, called "Almahata Sitta".
Goal of the workshop is to discuss the results from ongoing research into the properties of asteroid 2008 TC3 when it was still in space, its nature and origin, the asteroid's impact in Earth's atmosphere, the subsequent recovery, and the analysis of the recovered meteorites. Talks on the origin of ureilites are invited, as well as discussions on how to adjust observing strategies to increase the likelihood of future discoveries of small asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

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RE: 8TA9D69
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Imagine that we get word that an asteroid is headed for Albuquerque. Estimated time to impact: 19 hours.
The chances of a city-killer hitting Albuquerque, or any other city on Earth for that matter, are slim. But in a remarkable series of events last October, a team of scientists around the world for the first time spotted a space rock headed toward Earth before it hit and were able to track its path and predict its time and place of impact.


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When an asteroid was spotted hurtling towards Earth last fall, Peter Brown raced to the University of Western Ontario's observatory near London, Ontario.
He, like his colleagues around the globe, trained his telescope on the truck-sized boulder streaking across the sky.


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Fortunately, it wasnt large enough to require intervention by Bruce Willis, but asteroid 2008 TC3 is the first space rock to have been spotted before it crashed to Earth. It streaked into the skies over northern Sudan in the early morning of October 7, 2008, and then exploded at a high 37 km above the Nubian Desert, before the atmosphere could slow it appreciably. It was believed that the asteroid had fully disintegrated into dust.

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The identification of meteorites has never been easy. But an international group of researchers recently successfully identified an asteroid in space before it entered the Earth's atmosphere. With the use of computers, researchers can now find out what part of the solar system the asteroid came from and predict the time of entry as well as the site where its shattered remaining parts lie. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature.

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Scientists from Queen's University in Belfast have become the first to study an asteroid before it impacts with Earth.
The asteroid in question, 2008 TC3, weighed 80 tonnes and had a diameter of four metres.
It landed in the Nubian Desert in Sudan last October, where it scattered after exploding at an altitude of 37km.

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UK astronomers, using the Science and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) William Herschel Telescope on La Palma, observed a rare asteroid as it was hurtling towards our planet and have captured the only spectrum of it before it exploded in our atmosphere. This is the very first time that an asteroid that hit the Earth has been studied before entering our atmosphere, allowing the scientists to predict whether it would explode and break up in the atmosphere or reach the ground - which determines whether an asteroid poses any threat. The results of the international collaboration studying the asteroid are published in this week's (March 26th) issue of Nature.

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2008 TC3
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Asteroid impact is a very real threat to the earth. While the statistics on the probability of such occurrences vary in certainty, it is generally accepted that objects 5-10m in diameter hit the earth once every year while the odds of a devastating asteroid strike is approximately one in ten chance of hitting per century. Clearly, with the potentially monumental costs of such a devastating strike occurring, it is in our best interest to know as much as we can about potential strikes. Any ability to see such a catastrophe in advance has the potential to be of civilization saving significance, which brings us to the unprecedented observations made of 2008 TC3, an asteroid that fell to Earth late last year.

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Around midnight on 6 October 2008, a white dot flitted across the screen of Richard Kowalski's computer at an observatory atop Mount Lemmon in Arizona. Kowalski had seen hundreds of such dots during three and a half years of scanning telescope images for asteroids that might hit Earth or come close. He followed the object through the night and submitted the coordinates, as usual, to the Minor Planet Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which keeps track of asteroids and other small bodies. When the sky began to brighten, he shut down the telescope, went to the dorm down the mountain and fell asleep.
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