The asteroid that hit Earth early Monday morning turned into a dazzling fireball seen across Europe just hours after it was discovered.
An asteroid, initially named Sar2667, was discovered at 16:18 GMT (12:18 ET) on Sunday at the Peskestatuh Observatory in Hungary by astronomer Christian Šarnsky, the European Space Agency said in a press release.
A second observation a few minutes later was reported by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Centre.
About 40 minutes after the asteroid was discovered, the Visjan Observatory in Croatia confirmed the presence of the object. The European Space Agency said various impact assessment systems had observed the asteroid and suggested it had a “100% probability of impact” on the English Channel, the stretch of Atlantic Ocean between southern England and northern France.
Fortunately, astronomers said it was an asteroid with a height of 3 feet (0.91 meters), officially known as 2023 CX1, meaning it poses no threat to Earth or humanity.
Asteroid 2023 CX1 hit Earth and became a fireball seen across Europe.
The European Space Agency said astronomers around the world continued to monitor the asteroid from Sunday evening into Monday morning until it was “invisible” as it fell into Earth’s shadow.
At 1:58 a.m. GMT (9:58 p.m. ET), the asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere, turning into a “beautiful fireball” that streaked across Europe’s sky.
Fireball is the name given to any bright meteor that burns up in Earth’s atmosphere, according to NASA.
The meteor was spotted across western Europe, with the International Meteorological Organization saying it had received 61 reports of the fireball across Wales, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.
Some fragments of the asteroid may have survived and landed near the coast north of Rouen in Normandy, France, the European Space Agency said.
Several videos of the torch were posted on Twitter.
This is the seventh time an asteroid has been detected before it hits Earth, officials said.
And the NASA Asteroid Watch department explained: While asteroids like 2023 CX1 pose no threat to humanity, they are a “great exercise” for Earth’s planetary defense capabilities, the European Space Agency added. Hitting Earth is a “sign of progress.” Quick. Universal detection capabilities.
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