Asteroid hits Earth in ‘magnificent’ spectacle over Europa

While the US was busy celebrating the Super Bowl on Sunday night, the Europeans had their own spectacle. A bright flash ripped across the sky over western Europe early Monday morning as an asteroid discovered just hours earlier smashed into Earth’s atmosphere.

The asteroid, named Sar2667, was first spotted in Hungary on the evening of February 12 by astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky. He told that he found the asteroid during a routine near-Earth object search using a 2-foot telescope.

“It was immediately clear it was NEO, but it wasn’t particularly fast in the sky,” he said, “because it was headed straight for us and it was faint.”

After additional observatories confirmed its existence and trajectory, European Space Agency operations released a statement Sunday night saying the 1-meter meteoroid was expected sure to strike the atmosphere over Northern France later in the night.

A “very bright final flash of the meteor” was spotted just before 3 a.m. UT, confirming that the small asteroid, now called 2023 CX1, had entered Earth’s atmosphere, the International Meteor Organization said. It struck near Rouen, the capital of France’s Normandy region.

“Just saw it and it was awesome,” one person tweeted, along with video of the asteroid falling across the English Channel overlooking France. “Came down straight on time. 2:59. Green like a bright emerald, then very quickly bright orange. Absolutely phenomenal view…”

The American Meteor Society has received 40 reports of the fireball from England, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

This is only the seventh time an asteroid has been spotted before hitting the planet. And the latest event came almost exactly 10 years after a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013, and a shock wave Almost 1,200 people were injured and windows shattered 3,600 apartment blocks. According to EarthSky, the asteroid was about 20 times larger than Monday’s, with an estimated size of 65 feet and traveling at 12 miles per second when it struck the atmosphere.

This was the second time Sárneczky had found an asteroid before hitting Earth. In March 2022, he found an asteroid, now known as 2022 EB5, measuring about 10 feet across just two hours before it collided with Earth just north of Iceland.

“At the time, I thought it was a one-time event,” Sárneczky told “I was wrong.”

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