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Newly Released Map Data Shows Frequency of Small Asteroid Impacts, Provides Clues on Larger Asteroid Population

Small asteroids near Earth, with sizes of only about a meter, hit the atmosphere and disintegrate with surprising frequency - around every other week, new data show.

Data gathered by U.S. government sensors and released to NASA for use by the science community reveal that these small impact events are frequent and random. A map of these small impact events - known as fireballs or bolides - recently released by NASA shows the frequency and approximate energy released by bolide events detected from 1994 through 2013. It dwarfs a data-base of small impacts based on infra-sound detections released last fall, but it does not contain all fireballs - objects less than a meter in size - that impacted the Earth during this period.

-- Linda Billings & NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office

Reposted fromscience science

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