“Early in the morning of June 2 an extremely bright meteor was seen over the skies of Arizona and surrounding states. Fragmentation of the meteor was observed, loud explosions were heard from the ground, and a residual dust trail persisted for several hours. Estimates suggest this was caused by an asteroid about six feet across that hit the Earth at a speed in excess of 40,000 mph.” – Dr. Nick Moskovitz, Lowell Observatory
Near misses and small impacts are common for Planet Earth, they light up the night sky and create a beautiful show for those in areas dark enough to witness it. Asteroids are fascinating and thanks to Hollywood we all have an unnecessary fear that one day, one of these massive chunks of rock will strike Earth and there will be nothing we can do to stop it. If you have ever made the trip to Meteor Crater you have seen the damage it could do but according to Moskovitz the danger of a large asteroid impacting Earth and causing widespread destruction is exceedingly low . He is an astronomer at Lowell Observatory studies Near-Earth objects, such as meteors and asteroids.
On June 30 at 7pm, Moskovitz will give a special presentation at Lowell Observatory for Asteroid day. He will discuss the variety of instruments that observed the Arizona Fireball and will provide some context for this event in our overall understanding of Earth- impacting asteroids. According to Moskovitz, impacts of this size are relatively common. They happen randomly somewhere on Earth about every 2-4 weeks. But we will have to wait about 40 years for another one of these happening specifically over AZ.
When: June 30 at 7pm
Where: Lowell Observatory
Cost: $12 per adult; $6 for youth ages 5-17; $11 for seniors, college students, and AAA members. Members are Free