A small asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere over western Europe, creating a spectacular sight of a fireball careening across the skies until it made impact in northern France by the English Channel.
The European Space Agency tweeted that Sar2667, a one-meter [three-foot] meteoroid, also considered a small asteroid, had been detected and was expected to safely strike Earth’s atmosphere over northern France between 3:50-4:03 CET early Monday morning.
The agency told those in the area to look out for what will appear to be a “shooting star” or “fireball.” ,
The International Meteor Organization later confirmed “At the predicted time, small asteroid 2023 CX1 (provisionary designated under Sar2667) entered the Earth atmosphere, producing a very bright fireball that was reported by more than 60 witnesses.”
“Just saw it and it was magnificent. Came down vertically on time,” one Twitter user wrote, sharing footage recorded over the English Channel facing France. “Green like a bright emerald then bright orange really quickly. Absolutely phenomenal view…”
The meteoroid struck near Rouen, the capital of France’s Normandy region, representing the seventh time an asteroid has been detected before striking the planet.
Astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky first detected the asteroid in Hungary on the evening of Feb. 12. He told Space.com he spotted the small asteroid at the Konkoly Observatory’s Piszkéstető Station, located some 60 miles northeast from Budapest, with a 2-foot telescope during what’s known among professional astronomers as a routine NEO [near Earth object] hunt.
CBS News reported that the American Meteor Society has received at least 40 reports of sighting of the small asteroid from England, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In what’s known as the City of Lights, people even in Paris shared video of the fireball careening across the night sky.