Asteroid lights up sky above English Channel as footage shows Sar 2667 asteroid
The European Space Agency says the meteoroid, Sar 2667 is a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities.
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A small asteroid has entered the Earth’s atmosphere, generating a beautiful shooting star effect in the sky above the English Channel. The 3ft meteoroid was sighted just before 03:00 GMT, and it is reportedly the seventh time an asteroid impact has been anticipated.
Some social media users were fortunate enough to capture it on camera, with people in the south of England sharing footage of the asteroid, dubbed Sar 2667. The European Space Agency tweeted that it was "a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities!"
A Twitter user @aljibaalu said: “Just saw it and it was magnificent. Came down vertically on time. 2.59. Green like a bright emerald then bright orange really quickly. Absolutely phenomenal view of the #asteroid #sar2667 tonight over the English Channel facing France.”
Another managed to capture the impressive sighting from his location in Surrey. Twitter user @einionyn said: “Although it was very overcast here in Guildford, Surrey, the flash from the #Sar2667 #Asteroid was visible a few minutes ago!”
The asteroid was predicted to "safely strike" the earth’s atmosphere near the French city of Rouen, according to the agency. According to the International Meteor Organization, a non-profit organisation located in Belgium, the object would have entered roughly 4km (2.5 miles) from the French shore, causing a "fireball" impact.
Sar2667, a metre-diameter asteroid, was scheduled to collide with the French city of Le Havre at 02:59 UTC. Asteroids are tiny stony objects that orbit the sun and are sometimes referred to as minor planets.
Authorities are aware of around 1.1 million asteroids, while the total number is thought to be significantly higher. According to the European Space Agency, around 30,600 are in an orbit that puts them close to Earth’s.
In November of last year, an asteroid scheduled to reach the Earth’s atmosphere was observed in the sky above Ontario, Canada. Meanwhile, an asteroid the size of a minibus was on a collision course with Earth in January. In fact, the rock would have likely fragmented high in the atmosphere prior to impact.
Experts in asteroid detection are most concerned about "goldilocks asteroids," considerably larger space objects that might do catastrophic harm to Earth if they collide. NASA stated in October that its effort to alter the path of an asteroid had been successful.