LONDON: A fragment of an asteroid that collided with Earth last month and went up in flames over Botswana shortly after entering the atmosphere was discovered by an international team of scientists in the Kalahari Game Reserve.

The meteorite is one of the fragments of the 2018 LA asteroid that collided with Earth on June 2, turning into a meteorfire ball detonating over Botswana a few seconds after entering the atmosphere.

The incident was observed by a number of spectators in Botswana and neighboring countries and was captured on numerous surveillance cameras.

Asteroid 2018 LA was discovered in space eight hours before Earth's impact. It was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey, operated by the University of Arizona and sponsored by NASA as part of its Planetary Defense mission.

This is the third time in history that an asteroid meeting Earth has been discovered early, and only the second time fragments have been found.

After the destruction, the asteroid fragments were blown by the wind as they fell down and were scattered across a large area.

Landing area calculations were made by a US group led by Peter Jenniskens, an expert from the NASA sponsored SETI Institute in California, and Esko Lyytinen and Jarmo Moilanen from the Finnish Fireball Network (FFN).

The first meteorite was found after five days by geoscientists.

The significance of the discovery is twofold: it has a tremendous scientific value and allows the so-called "Earth Defense" to be better calibrated against asteroids.

The researchers collected surveillance videos in Rakops and Maun to better control the position and height of the fireball explosion.

The search for further fragments of the meteorite continues.



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