On Monday night, a small meteorite with a diameter of about one meter entered the Earth's atmosphere, and it left a trail of bright light in the sky.
The movement of this meteorite was followed not only by astronomers, but also by residents of the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.
During its passage through the Earth’s atmosphere, this space object exploded and its parts fell into the English Channel.
Although the meteorite was small, it still could have damaged buildings or people if it had fallen in a densely populated area.
However, it was not included in the category of dangerous meteorites. Scientists believe that meteorites with a diameter of more than 100-140 meters pose a potential threat to our planet.
The aforesaid meteorite, named 2023 CX1—or Sar 2667), was discovered by Hungarian astronomer Kristian Sarnecki seven hours before it entered the atmosphere. At the time, this space object was less than 233,000 kilometers from Earth.
The European Space Agency reported that this was the seventh successful prediction of a meteor impact.
The moment of this meteorite falling can be viewed in the video below.
Large-sized meteorites can cause serious destruction if they reach the Earth. And in order to prevent such scenarios, scientists constantly study the universe, so that in such cases they can warn about a possible danger in time. Moreover, NASA's DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) mission was successfully carried out last fall. The DART probe hit asteroid Dimorphos orbiting constellation Didymos to see if it was possible to artificially alter the asteroid's orbit.
The results of the DART mission exceeded all expectations. According to scientists, the collision should have changed the rotation time of the constellation by about 73 seconds; but in fact it has changed by 32 minutes, and now one complete revolution takes 11 hours and 23 minutes. The results of this mission are considered a turning point in the history of planetary protection, as they showed that it is possible to artificially change the direction of meteorites.
However, there are potential “planet-killing asteroids” that are difficult to detect because they "hide" in the light of the Sun and telescopes cannot capture them. One such asteroid—the 2022 AP7—was discovered in November 2022. Last year, the Chinese proposed a new system for warning about dangerous asteroids. Chinese researchers have proposed deploying a new system consisting of six spacecraft in orbits similar to Venus, the purpose of which will be detecting and warning of potential Earth-threatening asteroids as early as possible.