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The First Asteroid We Knew Would Hit Earth in Advance

On October 7, 2008, at quarter-to-six in the morning, commuters waiting for the train at Station 6 in Nubia, Sudan, were greeted to a spectacular display: a massive fireball that streaked through the sky overhead and quickly disappeared. It seems safe to say that they were surprised. Elsewhere in the world, though, astronomers had been expecting it. This was 2008-TC3—the first asteroid scientists had ever spotted in time to predict its arrival, a feat that hasn't been repeated since.
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