Asteroid headed for Earth explodes over Europe, turns into a fireball; Know all about it

An asteroid named 2023 CX1 was headed straight for the Earth, but burnt up in the atmosphere and turned into a fireball over Europe. Check details here.

| Updated on: Apr 19 2023, 17:26 IST
NASA: 5 asteroids, including 226-foot Asteroid 2023 CC1, to buzz Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2023 CA3 – NASA has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 CA3 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid, with a width between 32 feet and 75 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth today, February 17 at a distance of 2.2 million kilometers and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 44751 kilometers per hour, which is multiple times faster than the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile!   (NASA)
2/5 Asteroid 2023 CY1 - NASA has issued an alert against an asteroid named Asteroid 2023 CY1. This terrifying asteroid is expected to come extremely close to Earth today, February 17. Its distance of close approach will be just 1.7 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a staggering speed of 23967 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 CW2 – This small asteroid, with width between 11 feet and 24 feet, will make its close trip to Earth today, February 17, at a distance of just 622,037 kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2023 CW2, is already rushing towards Earth, travelling at a speed slower than other asteroids, at 8112 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2020 DG4 – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2020 DG4 is heading for Earth and will make a close approach today, February 17. This asteroid, with a size between 20 feet and 45 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 24913 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at an extremely close distance of just 552,381 kilometers.  (Wikimedia Commons)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 CC1 – The fifth asteroid, with a size ranging between 101 feet and 226 feet, is named Asteroid 2023 CC1 and will be making its closest Earth approach tomorrow, February 18. It will come as close as 552,381 kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 43779 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
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Know all about this asteroid which almost hit the Earth. (Pixabay)

Many asteroids come extremely close to the Earth, but eventually, they all make a safe passage and fly away without posing any risk to us. However, that was not the case recently, when an asteroid darted towards the Earth and would have struck it, if it was not for the atmosphere. The atmospheric drag heated the asteroid up and it exploded. The fireball asteroid was seen flying across the sky over Europe, reminding us that if things had been a little different, it could have struck any of the major cities and caused a big catastrophe. Check the details.

As per a report by European Space Agency, the asteroid was discovered just hours before it entered our atmosphere. “At 20:18 UTC on 12 February 2023, the new asteroid, initially designated Sar2667, was imaged by the Piszkesteto Observatory. Once a second observation was taken, it was reported to the Minor Planet Center,” the ESA statement said.

Earth narrowly escapes asteroid strike

The incident took place less than a year after the asteroid 2022 EB5 crashed into the Earth near the coast of Iceland. Back then, we were lucky since the impact site was an isolated coastal area and the small size of the space rock (3-4 meters in width) meant that it was not able to cause widespread damage. In the same vein, asteroid 2023 CX1 was 3-foot wide (0.9 meters) and due to its small size, it was not able to make it to the Earth in a single piece.

This asteroid burnt up in the sky and turned into a fireball that flew across the sky over Europe. The International Meteor Organization revealed that it received 61 different reports of the fireball across Wales, England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. The scary part is if the asteroid was even a few meters larger, it could have smashed into a major city in any of these countries.

The ESA also stated that it is possible that some fragments of the asteroid could have survived and ended up on the north coast of Rouen in Normandy, France. However, there has been no expedition to find or recover the remains of the space rock.

“Of course, one day we'll find an imminent impactor that isn't one meter in size, but perhaps 100. To protect ourselves, as NASA's DART mission has shown is possible and ESA's Hera Mission will build on, we need to see them coming,” highlighted ESA.

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First Published Date: 19 Apr, 17:17 IST
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