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The fireball that flew over Japan in 2017 and it was a small part of a huge asteroid that could one day threaten the Earth

This is a still from a video shows a ball of fire that is over in Kyoto, Japan, and, after 1 hour on the 28th of April 2017. (Credit: SonataCo Network

In the early morning hours of April 28, 2017, there is a small ball of fire crept over the sky of Kyoto, Japan. And now, thanks to the data collected by the SonotaCo meteor survey, the researchers found that the glowing space rock was a fragment of a much larger asteroid, which may well threaten the Earth.

The meteor that burned all over Japan, and it was small. The study of the SonotaCo data, the researchers determined that the object entered the atmosphere with a mass of about 1 ounce (29 grams) and is about 1 inch (2.7 cm wide). It was not threatening anyone. However, small meteors like this one are important because they will be able to provide information to the larger of the objects that spawn them. In this case, the researchers monitored the little rock and go back to the above, an object known as 2003 YT1.

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In 2003 YT1 is a binary asteroid consisting of a large rock, about 1.2 miles (2 km), over rotated by a small asteroid with the 690 ft (210 m) in length. Discovered in 2003, and the binary number system has a 6% chance of hitting the Earth at any time within the next 10 million years ago. That is the object of what the researchers call a ‘potentially dangerous object’, although it is not likely that anyone else to be hurt in your life.

And the binary does not pass to the Earth in 2017, so there is not a direct and obvious link between the meteorite and its parent. However, the researchers have investigated how the ball moves across the sky, and they were able to reverse-engineer the object on the track and the area where it will not be fixed to the pins on the 2003 YT1 with a high degree of certainty.

The researchers said they were not sure how to do the little rock division of the 2003 YT1, but you believe that it is part of a larger stream of dust that was thrown off of the asteroid. And they offered a few possible explanations for how this power is formed, Maybe a small micrometeorites that are routinely tied to the larger asteroid in the binary fragmentation of the bullets hitting a wall. Or, perhaps, changes in heat of cracking in one of the asteroid surface, spitting out little chunks of it in the dark.

With a script by the authors, is that the pieces are a result of the trial, which was formed in 2003 YT1 system in the first place.

Related: Space-y Tales: The 5 Strangest Meteorites

The majority of people are likely to imagine the asteroids as large rocks, will be scaled versions of the stones that she would find here on Earth. But in 2003 YT1, the authors wrote, is more likely to be a “rubble pile”, and a myriad of things that are loosely connected to each other by the force of gravity, which coalesced into the two rotating bodies at a predetermined point in the last 10,000 years. The strength of the masses, together and as individual asteroids are likely to be weak, and be like the two decks to spin chaotically around each other for a couple of hours, she was able to throw himself into the room.

There are other more exotic possibilities, the authors wrote. The Water is ice are sublimating (turning from a solid to a gas) from any of the asteroids’ surfaces, and the restoration of small balls of ice-cream in the open air. But that, and the rest of the models, are unlikely to occur, the researchers wrote.

As of now, we know that the Earth is being visited by a small piece of a large asteroid. And part of it is likely to be a part of a stream of other little bits that occasionally enter Earth’s atmosphere undetected. And then at some point down the road, which is a large asteroid would be able to take children and / or slam into the Ground. That ball would have to be much, much more.

The paper describing these findings has not yet peer-reviewed. A draft was published in Oct. 16, in the preprint journal arXiv.

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Originally published on Live Science.

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