Space rocks have been making their way into our home planet on various occasions. On February 12, at around 10 pm EST (0300 GMT, February 13), a space rock burned up through Earth’s atmosphere and makes its way over Europe. A few hours after this dramatic event, a space-focus citizen science volunteer group found a meteorite that came from the fireball. Astronomers named this space rock 2023 CX1 and it was part of Asteroid SAR 2667. Loïs Leblanc, an 18-year-old student was the first person to spot the meteorite.
“At 4:47 pm, Leblanc chanced upon a dark stone barely level with the ground of a field in the town of Saint-Pierre-le-Viger,” the group wrote in a blog post acknowledging the findings.
Members of the science group named Vigie-Ciel and another space-focused citizen science group named FRIPON are credited for this fascinating discovery. The space group also revealed that the last time they spotted a meteorite was in the French territory of Draveil in 2011. Hence, this latest finding is indeed a remarkable one for the science group.
What you Should Know About the Asteroid SAR 2667
On February 12, Astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky discovered asteroid SAR 2667 at Konkoly Observatory’s Piszkéstető Station, some 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Budapest, using only a two-foot (0.6-meter) telescope. During an interview section with Space.com, the astronomer revealed that they were conducting a routine hunt for near-Earth objects when they spotted the apollo asteroid.
“It was immediately obvious that it was a NEO, but it wasn’t particularly fast across the sky, as it was heading right towards us, and it was faint,” Sárneczky said.
The 3.2-foot SAR 2667 findings were indeed a fascinating discovery for astronomers. Sárneczky is acknowledged for spotting the asteroid before it actually slammed into Earth. But this is not the first time, Sárneczky discovered an asteroid just before it crashed into Earth.
In March 2022, the astronomer discovered the 2022 EB5, hours before it slammed into Earth’s atmosphere as a fireball. Hence, the entry of SAR 2667 is the second time Sárneczky discovered an asteroid before it impacted Earth. This is also the seventh time astronomers have ever correctly predicted an Earth asteroid impact in advance.
This implies we are gradually becoming great at predicting an asteroid’s impact before it actually occurs. The European Space Agency announced that the object had already been spotted and was projected to enter Earth’s atmosphere before the fireball event occurs. Hence, astronomers are getting better at correctly predicting asteroid impact with Earth.
Asteroid impact on Earth should give everyone concern as one devastating impact can destroy lives and properties. Space agencies have come up with asteroid defense plans to protect our home planet from asteroid impacts in the future. But while we wait for the future of redirecting asteroids, we can rely on using telescopes to spot an asteroid impact before they slam into our atmosphere. What do you think about this fascinating discovery?