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Piece of Asteroid May Have Struck Nicaragua

By By Mark Leberfinger, Staff Writer
September 10, 2014, 5:27:23 AM EDT

A piece of a newly discovered asteroid may have left a crater in Nicaragua.

A loud boom was heard Saturday night, local time, around Managua, the Nicaraguan capital, and a suspected meteorite crater was discovered near Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, The Associated Press reported.

Asteroid 2014 RC was about one-tenth the distance from the center of Earth to the moon, or about 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers), at its closest approach to Earth on Sunday afternoon EDT.

The asteroid passed away from the communications and weather satellites orbiting 22,000 miles (40,000 km).

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International experts will be asked to help the Nicaraguan government investigate the discovery, The AP reported.

Asteroid 2014 RC was first discovered on Aug. 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Maui, Hawaii. Additional follow-up observations confirmed the orbit, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said.


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