An asteroid plunges towards the Earth … relax. It (probably) won't actually happen.

Photo: Getty Images

A previously undetected asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere and exploded over the Atlantic Ocean, 2,200 miles off the coast of Venezuela yesterday.

The rock, the size of a car is estimated to have had an impact energy of around 750 tons of TNT. Small in cosmic terms but enough to have caused massive problems if it had hit a population center.

It has been named 2014AA, a number letter combination that indicates it was the first asteroid discovered this year, sadly it was discovered somewhat late…like after it exploded.

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This incident serves to remind us all that the mission to map all space debris, junk and rocks that are likely to pose a threat to the planet is far from complete.

In other space news sunspot AR1944 is now twice the size of Earth and contains a dozen dark cores with the magnetic energy to throw off powerful flares. The spot is so big it can be seen at sunset with the naked eye.

sunset_strip

Photo: Raymund Sarmiento of Quezon City, the Philippines

Spaceweather.com said:

The effect of any flares today will be mitigated by the fact that the sunspot is not yet directly facing Earth. However, even an off-center blast from this behemoth could produce radio blackouts and geomagnetic activity.

NOAA has increased their estimate of M-class flares to 75% and X-class to 30% over the next 24 hours.

Solar wind from the large Earth-facing coronal hole is giving rise to spectacular aurorae, such as this photographed by Chad Blakley in Sweden.

auroras_strip


Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.

Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!