Though Asteroid 2018 LA didn't cause any damage, it surprised the astronomers as they were able to spot it shortly before it entered the atmosphere.
Eight hours after National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials discovered a boulder-sized asteroid heading straight for Earth on Saturday, the invader entered Earth's atmosphere over Botswana and made several appearances on surveillance cameras in neighboring South Africa.
While the thought of a 6-foot-wide rock hurling towards us at 38,000 miles per hour might seem like a good reason to be alarmed, NASA views the discovery differently.
Saturday's asteroid was first discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson, Arizona.
In fact, the small asteroid was a lot smaller than the equipment is trained to detect.
Webcam footage of the asteroid captured in a rural area west of Johannesburg showed the asteroid as a glowing orb lighting up the night sky in a huge flash.
Monday, 4 June, the employees of laboratory of jet movement NASA have discovered a new asteroid orbiting the Earth.
The ATLAS asteroid survey obtained two additional observations hours before impact, which were used by Scout to confirm the impact would occur, and narrowed down the predicted location to southern Africa.
Asteroid trackers at Nasa and elsewhere quickly determined the rock - about 6ft across - was too small to pose any danger.
'This was a much smaller object than we are tasked to detect and warn about, ' said Lindley Johnson, Planetary Defense Officer at NASA Headquarters.
Also, the scientist says that such examples are illustrative of the work of NASA: "This is a real event allows you to test our capabilities and gives some condence that our models predict collisions suited to respond to the potential impact of larger objects".
It is only the third time scientists have spotted an incoming asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth.
With more telescopes pointed at the asteroid, it became apparent that there may be an impact, Brown said. Although none of the recent impacts has actually been serious, researchers still keep an eye on any cosmic object that might approach Earth. However, the CAS clarified that the larger asteroids reflect more sunlight, so usually the medium and large ones can be detected earlier. All three times the detection was done by the same Catalina Sky Survey telescope, and even in the same observer's shift Richard Kowalski.