In the early morning hours of Sunday (January 21), a small asteroid hurtled across the sky and slammed into Earth's atmosphere near Berlin, producing a bright but harmless fireball that can be seen for miles around. Such sightings usually happen several times a year – but this time was unique because it was first discovered by scientists approximately three hours before the impact – only the eighth time that researchers have detected one of these space rocks before it collided.
The asteroid is called 2024 BXIIt was first discovered by a self-proclaimed asteroid hunter Christian Sarnitsky, an astronomer at Piszkéstető Mountain Station, part of the Konkoli Observatory in Hungary. Learn about the cosmic rock using 60 cm Schmidt telescope at the observatory. Shortly after the space rock was discovered, NASA provided a detailed prediction of where and when the meteorite would fall.
“Alert: A small, harmless fireball-shaped asteroid will disintegrate west of Berlin near Nyonhausen at 1:32 AM CET. Observers will see it if it's clear!” NASA tweeted The night of January 20th.
a Live camera Photographers in the northern German city of Leipzig captured shots of the very bright meteor, and they watched it appear and disappear within a few seconds. The asteroid, which was estimated to be about 3.3 feet (1 meter) wide before impact, likely began disintegrating about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Berlin and “possibly dropped some meteorites to Earth” along the way. Dennis Vidaa postdoctoral fellow in meteor physics at Western University in Canada, He told CBS News.
Sarniczky has discovered hundreds of asteroids in recent years, and was the first to discover them The first to discover the asteroid 2022 EB5 About two hours before it collided with the Earth's atmosphere. He used Konkoli Observatory data to detect those incoming rocks, too.
Another *incredible* shot of the small burning asteroid over Germany just moments ago – wow. pic.twitter.com/OGl0GuWGe6January 21, 2024
His vision is incredibly unusual. According to the European Space Agency, 99% of near-Earth asteroids are less than 98 feet (30 meters) in diameter. It has not been discovered yet. The smaller the asteroid, the closer it will be to Earth before scientists can detect it, which can make it harder to predict impacts in advance. Experts say.
In some cases, near-Earth asteroids can do this Hiding in the glare of the sunLike the The meteor that launched from the direction of sunrise Over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013. That surprise space rock shattered windows, temporarily blinded bystanders, inflicted instantaneous ultraviolet burns, and injured more than 1,600 people.
Government space agencies are currently developing new technologies to scan the skies for asteroids before they touch Earth, including NASA. NEO cadastral satellitecurrently planned for launch in 2027, and the European Space Agency Newmeyerwhich is not expected to be launched until after 2030. Starting in 2025, it will be launched Vera C. Rubin Observatory In Chile – funded by the National Science Foundation – it will catalog the solar system from Earth, and is expected to greatly aid asteroid-hunting efforts.
“It took us 200 years to discover all the asteroids we know of so far, about 1.2 million asteroids.” Mario Juricleader of the Solar System Discovery Team at the Rubin Observatory and director of the DiRAC Institute at the University of Washington, He said astronomy. “In the first three to six months of Robin, we will double that.”
“Devoted student. Bacon advocate. Beer scholar. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot. Typical coffee enthusiast.”