A small asteroid lit up the skies of England and France exploding into a fireball as it fell into Earth’s atmosphere.
The alarm was raised by the Konkoly Observatory in Budapest, Hungary at 23:00 local time and made its dazzling appearance at 03:00.
Dramatic footage of the meteoroid was captured on multiple cameras, with the event even being picked up by a police car in England. It is just the seventh time space agencies have been able to forewarn an asteroid impact.
“[It is] a sign of the rapid advances in global detection capabilities,” writes the European Space Agency (ESA) on Twitter.
Videos filmed in both England and France capture people’s amazement as the asteroid burns up and detonates in Earth’s atmosphere.
“I saw a post on Facebook saying that it was expected at 03:00 so I just stood at my window and turned on my phone,” says Becky who witnessed the asteroid. “I wasn’t expecting much but it really was amazing.”
Dutch photographer Gijs de Reijke drove to the French city of Le Havre to capture an astonishing shot of the asteroid. He took a 30-second exposure on a Nikon D850 with a 70-300mm set at 135mm, the amazing photos highlight the bright colors of the asteroid.
Asteroid Sar2667, about a meter in diameter, was expected to fall near the French city of Le Havre at 02:59h UTC. I drove to a photogenic spot close to home in the south of the Netherlands to capture it, just as the sky cleared.#asteroid #meteor @IMOmeteors @apod pic.twitter.com/MNZofhkrd7
— Gijs de Reijke (@GijsDeReijke) February 13, 2023
Another photographer, David L, captured the asteroid from Le Mans, France
Thank you so much for the alert ! pic.twitter.com/zfAdWzJVjO
— David L. (@dlxinorbit) February 13, 2023
Krisztián Sárneczky located at the Konkoly Observatory’s Piszkéstető Station is responsible for warning the world that the meteoroid was imminent.
🚨ATTENTION! A small asteroid is expected to safely impact the French-English channel in ~4 hours time, 03:00:03 UT tomorrow. Object size is around ~1 meter and should appear as bright as the Moon momentarily as it enters the atmosphere. Approx visibility circle posted below. 1/ pic.twitter.com/Ckh5OBsz4l
— Tom Williams (@tw__astro) February 12, 2023
“I discovered this small body during a routine near Earth object [NEO] hunt,” Sárneczky tells Space.com.
“It was immediately obvious that it was an NEO, but it wasn’t particularly fast across the sky, as it was heading right towards us, and it was faint.”