London : A fragment from an asteroid, that collided with Earth last month and burst into flames seconds after entering the atmosphere over Botswana, has been discovered in the Kalahari Game Reserve by an international team of scientists.
Asteroid fragment discovered in Botswana
The meteorite is one of the fragments of asteroid 2018 LA which collided with Earth on June 2 and turned into a meteor fireball that detonated over Botswana a few seconds after entering the atmosphere. The incident was witnessed by a number of spectators in Botswana and neighbouring countries and was captured on numerous security cameras. Asteroid 2018 LA was detected in space eight hours before hitting Earth. It was detected by the Catalina Sky Survey, operated by the University of Arizona and sponsored by NASA as part of its Planetary Defence mission.
The first meteorite was found after five days of walking and scouring around by geoscientists. The importance of the find is two-fold: It has enormous scientific value and it allows to better calibrate the so-called "Earth Defense" against impacting asteroids. Researchers gathered security surveillance videos in Rakops and Maun, to get better constraints on the position and altitude of the fireball's explosion. The search for more fragments of the meteorite continues.