Last fall, astronomers spotted an asteroid hurtling through space. It was headed on a collision course with earth. It may sound like a Hollywood plot, but in this real scenario, scientists weren't concerned for the fate of our planet.
Infrared image taken by the Meteosat 8 satellite of asteroid 2008 TC3 exploding. Image courtesy: EUMESTAT
The asteroid wasn't big enough to cause mass extinction. It was big enough, though, to provide scientists with a rare research opportunity. One scientist who took advantage of the event was Peter Jenniskens, a meteor astronomer at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.
Image taken by a cellphone of the contrail left by 2008 TC3 during its decent. Image courtesy: Shaddad
He led the team of scientists that recovered pieces of the meteoroid from the Nubian Desert, the answer to our Geo Quiz.
University of Khartoum students and staff prepare to search for meteorite remnants
Listen to our interview here:
Muawia Shaddad: of the University of Khartoum, Sudan and NASA meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens join students of the University of Khartoum at the location of one of the larger finds from the first search campaign, Dec. 8, 2008.