Numerous people have reported to experts that a gigantic meteor swiped through the atmosphere above the northern side of Europe, with the explosion sufficiently massive to be spotted from the United Kingdom to Germany and recorded on camera.
Some viewers reported that it looked like it was going to hit someplace down on the ground. The International Meteor Organization (IMO) allegedly received over 450 reports of a fireball explosion in the sky above the German-Dutch border as a meteor penetrated Earth‘s atmosphere.
Hundreds of Reports Were Received
The outstanding meteor was captured and recorded thanks to numerous dash-cam footage. The video, released by the American Meteor Society, depicts a luminous streak of light falling across the skies before an explosion occurs as it gets to the end of its leash.
The IMO wrote on its website: “On Saturday evening just before midnight local time a spectacular fireball was witnessed by hundreds of people and caught by a number of cameras!”
“We already received 450 reports concerning this event from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Denmark, and even France! The time could be determined by the witnesses and camera observations and was found to be 4th April 2020 around 21:44 UT (23:44 CEST),” the report said.
A ‘Brighter-Than-Normal’ Meteor
Asteroids and meteors generate a luminous blast of fire when they collide with the atmosphere as it is the first time a space rock has ever faced resistance. Air penetrates the pores of the object and cracks it, pushing it apart and making it blow off.
The IMO said: “Fireballs are meteors that appear brighter than normal. Due to the velocity at which they strike the Earth’s atmosphere, fragments larger than one millimeter have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above. These bright meteors are what we call fireballs, and they often strike fear and awe for those who witness them.”
Although this particular meteor was relatively small, the bright explosion emphasizes on the need for telescopes that can monitor and find such space rocks, in order to protect Earth from a possible asteroid collision.
While the probabilities of a major asteroid crashing with Earth are incredibly small – one in a 300,000 chance every year that a space object which could produce regional damage will hit, according to NASA – the prospect is not entirely impossible. Still, there are some projects currently being developed that could help protect Earth in the face of a potential asteroid collision.
Studying Asteroids to Protect Earth
NASA is currently analyzing asteroid Bennu, on which its OSIRIS-REx probe landed back in 2018. Part of the reason the space agency sent the spacecraft there is to collect as much information about the space rock as possible. The asteroid is allegedly 500 meters m(1640 feet) in diameter.
NASA claims that the asteroid, which could damage a whole country on Earth, could collide with our planet within the next 120 years, with the next close trajectory by us in 2135. The project will gather some crucial data on how to deflect space rocks from their collision path with Earth, but NASA states that although there is a small change Earth could be hit, ‘over millions of years, of all of the planets, Bennu is most likely to hit Venus.’
Paula is an outstanding reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, always finding new and interesting topics to bring to the portal. She mostly crafts Science and Technology news articles, covering everything one needs to know about those niches. Paula studied at Concordia University.