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Falling asteroid lit up the sky above the English Channel this week

Published Feb 13th, 2023 5:59PM EST
A comet or asteroid entering the Earth's atmosphere
Image: Aliaksandr Marko/Adobe

A falling asteroid over the English Channel gave skywatchers quite the show in the early morning hours of Monday, February 13. The asteroid hit Earth’s atmosphere, falling from the sky at roughly 4 a.m. Central European Time. Many videos and images of the asteroid have surfaced on social media, showing off the bright ball of fire as it burned up in our planet’s atmosphere.

Skywatchers were warned about the asteroid burning up over the English Channel after it was detected by the European Space Agency and NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. The asteroid was estimated to be around one meter in diameter. Additionally, this was only the seventh time that an asteroid strike had been forecast ahead of time.

Being able to detect and forecast this asteroid strike over the English Channel is still big news, though, because it shows that technology is advancing, and those rapid advancements in global asteroid detection are proving helpful. The ESA shared news about the asteroid on Sunday, giving skywatchers plenty of time to set up their cameras to capture it.

And capture it they did. As noted above, several images and videos of the asteroid burning up over the English Channel have been captured, with some even showing the asteroid falling from high in the sky, changing colors as it plummeted through our atmosphere and broke up.

Asteroids can come close to Earth, and we’ve even seen some asteroids skirt past Earth even closer than the Moon’s orbit. But we haven’t had to worry too much about large asteroids hitting the planet and causing much of an uproar.

If you’d like to see more images and videos of this latest asteroid burning up over the English Channel, you can search for #Sar2667 on social media platforms. As asteroid detection systems become more advanced, we’ll hopefully be able to forecast the arrival of even more asteroids, as the ESA and NASA managed to do here.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.