Video shows small asteroid burning up as it zooms through skies over eastern Germany

Video shows small asteroid burning up as it zooms through skies over eastern Germany

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A small asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up early Sunday morning as it hurled through the skies above eastern Germany.

Videos shared on social media throughout the day showed the glowing object’s descent over Europe, shortly after the Hungarian researcher and self-described “asteroid hunter” Krisztián Sárneczky spotted it from an observatory in Hungary. Sárneczky is well-known for discovering minor planets and other space objects headed toward our planet, including two asteroids that respectively fell over France in 2023 and the Arctic Ocean in 2022, according to EarthSky, an astronomy website run by scientists and experts in the field.

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A small asteroid fell through the skies over eastern Germany early Sunday morning on Jan. 21, 2024.

Augustusplatz Live Cam via Denis Vida on X


The asteroid seen early Sunday measured about 1 meter end-to-end, according to Denis Vida, a Ph.D. associate in meteor physics at Western University in Canada and the founder of the Global Meteor Project, which aims to better observe meteors using a worldwide cooperative of cameras pointing upward to space. 

Vida shared one of the clearest video clips of the falling asteroid, which was originally captured by a livestream camera set up in the German city of Leipzig, in a post on X, formerly Twitter. The asteroid “probably dropped some meteorites on the ground” as it zoomed through the atmosphere and broke apart, Vida wrote alongside the video. He clarified in an email to CBS News that the asteroid began to disintegrate about 50 kilometers, or about 30 miles, west of Berlin.

The asteroid was initially dubbed Sar2736 before the International Astronomical Union’s minor planet center went on to officially name it 2024 BX1, EarthSky reported. Funded by a grant through NASA’s near-earth object observation program, the minor planet center collects data on comets and “outer irregular natural satellites of major planets,” including their sizes and various locations, from observatories everywhere, according to its website. 

The center’s data log on 2024 BX1 shows input from numerous observatories in various European countries, such as Spain, Croatia and Romania, in addition to Hungary and Germany. 

NASA Asteroid Watch first flagged the asteroid’s imminent arrival in a social media post shared on Saturday evening. 

“Heads Up: A tiny asteroid will disintegrate as a harmless fireball west of Berlin near Nennhausen shortly at 1:32am CET. Overseers will see it if it’s clear!” the post read.

The space agency’s prediction was correct, and the asteroid rained down after midnight in central Europe as a “fireball,” the astronomical term for a shooting star, which the agency defines as “exceptionally bright meteors that are spectacular enough to be seen over a very wide area.





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