2014 AA


2014 AA was the second object to be detected before impacting the Earth. The meteoroid was discovered on 1 January 2014 by the Mount Lemmon Survey and impacted the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean roughly 21 hours later.

Discovery circumstances and follow-up

The asteroid was discovered on the first day of the year, again by Richard Kowalski at the Mt. Lemmon station of the Catalina Sky Survey, the same discoverer of previous impactor 2008 TC3. In this case, however, only 7 observations could be collected by the discoverers, over an arc of just over an hour. No other observatories were able to obtain additional follow-up. 

With the 7 available observations it was nevertheless possible to predict a certain impact somewhere over the mid-Atlantic or Western Africa, with a timing uncertainty of a few hours. 

Trajectory in Space

In the video below, the vernal equinox is to the right, while the view is tilted 45 degrees to the ecliptic.

2D Impact Corridor

The plot below displays the possible impact points on Earth that were calculated by Meerkat, the NEOCC monitoring system for imminent impacts. The computation does not include the atmospheric effects. It is worth noting that Meerkat was not yet developed at the time, so the results shown were calculated post-event.

Impact Corridor Diagram

Atmospheric Phase Details

A global network of detectors, maintained by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization reported weak detections. The energy was very hard to estimate with much accuracy. The rough estimate of the impact energy was equivalent to the explosive power of 500 to 1000 tonnes of TNT. No visual sightings reported. 

Search for Meteorites

No meteorites could be recovered due to the location of the impact point over deep oceanic waters.