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Light show over the English Channel: Asteroid enters the earth's atmosphere


»Sar2667« caused a special light spectacle over the English Channel during the night: the asteroid entered the earth's atmosphere and lit up the sky brightly.

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»Sar2667« photographed from Brighton

Photo: @kadeflowers / dpa

A small asteroid caused an unusual light show over the English Channel on Monday night.

The celestial body called "Sar2667" with a diameter of around one meter entered the atmosphere and, according to a report by the BBC, could be seen like a fireball in the sky shortly before 3 a.m. (local time).

One Twitter user wrote that the burning up asteroid "lit up the sky with a flash of pink which was spectacular."

A Brighton observer told the British news agency PA that the spectacle was "the greatest thing I've ever seen".

The European space agency Esa had previously announced on Twitter that the asteroid would enter the earth's atmosphere over northern France.

According to the information, it is only the seventh time that the occurrence of an asteroid has been predicted in advance.

The agency described this as a sign of rapid progress in predicting such events.

Researchers have identified tens of thousands of asteroids near Earth, around 10,000 of them with a diameter of more than 140 meters.

None are known to be able to crash directly into our planet in the foreseeable future.

Last year, NASA succeeded for the first time in changing the direction of movement of an asteroid through the impact of a probe.

The background to the experiment is the question of how the earth could be protected from approaching celestial bodies - an asteroid impact around 66 million years ago is considered by scientists to be the most likely cause of the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The NASA maneuver was intended to test the defense against an asteroid threatening the earth.

It was the first mission of this kind. The space probe Dart crashed into the celestial body on September 26 at a speed of more than 23,000 km/h.


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2023-02-13

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