Nasa launches rocket to deflect asteroid in first ‘planetary defence’ test

An asteroid estimated to be around 10ft wide struck the Earth off the coast of Iceland recently, but experts say it’s nothing to worry about.

On March 11, people in Iceland close to where the space rock landed reported seeing a bright flash of light, with some saying they heard a boom.

The cause of the phenomenon was asteroid 2022 EB5, which was spotted by astronomers just two hours before making impact.

At around 3 metres wide, approximately half the size of a giraffe, it may sound large, but in the grand scheme of things, the asteroid was considered a small one and would not have done any significant damage had it struck land.

Travelling at speeds of 11 miles per second between Greenland and Norway, it’s thought that the majority of the original asteroid burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere before it struck.

The impact happened at approximately 21:22 GMT on 11 March on the coast north of Iceland.

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It’s the fifth asteroid to have been discovered after entering the Earth’s atmosphere before hitting Earth and was spotted by Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky.

So far, no meteorites have been found from space rock, but the International Meteor Organization hopes to identify witnesses who may have seen it.

One 13ft asteroid exploded above the Nubian Desert in Sudan in 2008. Afterwards, 600 meteorites from the 80-tonne TC3 asteroid were recovered on the ground.

An asteroid the size of the Arc De Triomphe had a "close approach" to Earth recently, while NASA experts believe that the only way we could prevent another dinosaur extinction sized asteroid from destroying the planet would be to use nuclear weapons on it.

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