‘Shooting star’ asteroid seen over English Channel | Science & Tech News

A small asteroid that entered the Earth’s atmosphere was spotted above the English Channel last night. 

Twitter users in the south of England could see the one-metre asteroid, named Sar2667, just before 3am on Monday.

Videos show the small asteroid – also referred to as a meteoroid, given its size – lighting up the night sky and appearing to explode as it moves, creating a shooting star effect.

A view of a small asteroid passing through Earth's atmosphere in Brighton, Britain February 13, 2023 in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. Twitter/@KadeFlowers/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
The asteroid was spotted just before 3am last night. Pic: Twitter/@KadeFlowers/via Reuters

It was also one of only a handful of times an asteroid was detected before entering the Earth’s atmosphere using the European Space Agency’s (ESA) imminent impactor alert system.

The system, known as Meerkat, detected that the asteroid would safely strike the earth’s atmosphere near Rouen, northern France, between 2.50am and 3.03am UK time.

It is the seventh time the system has detected an asteroid before it entered the atmosphere.

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In a tweet, the ESA said its detection was “a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities”.

The sighting comes after a different asteroid made one of the closest approaches to Earth ever recorded.

An asteroid the size of a small truck was just 2,200 miles above the southern tip of South America last month.

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