- A small space rock 'asteroid' measuring several feet in diameter was expected to enter earth atmosphere over northern Sudan before dawn today, setting off a potentially brilliant natural fireworks display.
However, no sizable fragments are expected to survive the sizzling passage through Earth's atmosphere.
"We estimate objects this size enter Earth's atmosphere once every few months. The unique aspect of this event is that it is the first time we have observed an impacting object during its final approach," said Don Yeomans of Near-Earth Object Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
The small space rock, designated 2008 TC3, is expected to travel on an eastward trajectory, which will reportedly carry it toward Red Sea.
"Observers in region could be in for quite a show. When object enters atmosphere, it could become an extremely bright fireball," Mr Yeomans noted.
The rock is said to have first been observed by Mount Lemon telescope of NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey early yesterday. NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth.
The Near Earth Object Observation Program, commonly called "Space-guard," plots orbits of these objects to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet, reports show.
They further indicate that objects of this size would be expected to enter Earth's atmosphere every few months on average, adding however that this is the first time such an event has been predicted ahead of time.
Since its discovery barely a day ago, 2008 TC3 has reportedly been observed extensively by astronomers around world, and hence precise orbit predictions.
According to Space-guard, time at which any fragments of the rock might reach the ground depends a great deal on physical properties of the object.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.