CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A boulder-size asteroid disintegrated harmlessly over Africa, just hours after its weekend discovery.
It's only the third time scientists have spotted an incoming asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth.
NASA reported the latest episode Sunday night. The asteroid was discovered out near the moon's orbit early Saturday, aiming straight for Earth.
Asteroid trackers at NASA and elsewhere quickly determined the rock — 3 to 6 feet across (1 to 2 meters) — was too small to pose any danger. It burned up in the Saturday evening sky over Botswana, eight hours after first being noticed.
NASA says the scramble among scientists and asteroid observers was a good training exercise. Officials say their ability to zoom in on likely impact areas bodes well for the future.