February 18, 2013

Why Didn't We See that Huge Meteor Coming?

Rebecca Boyle, Popular Science

AP Photo

Friday morning’s meteor, the largest object to strike Earth in more than a century, took the whole planet by surprise. But maybe it didn't have to.

There's a chance the space rock that careened into Earth’s atmosphere over Russia could have been spotted if the right telescope happened to be looking in the right place. That's happened exactly once before. But it's highly unlikely it could have been spotted in enough time to sound an alarm--at least not with our planet’s existing warning systems.

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TAGGED: Meteors