LE HAVRE, France — Strange objects in the sky just keep coming! This time, scientists say it’s not a balloon. Instead, a tiny asteroid streaked across Earth’s atmosphere in the early morning hours over Europe. Luckily, no one had to shoot this rocky visitor from space out of the sky!
Landscape photographer Gijs de Reijke captured the stunning image around 3 a.m. local time on Monday, Feb. 13 near his home in the Netherlands. The tiny asteroid, also called a meteoroid, was only about three feet wide when it struck Earth’s atmosphere.
This meteoroid, Sar2667, lit up the night sky like a fireball as it streaked towards the coast of France. If any fragments of the space rock survive, scientists call those pieces meteorites. Gijs de Reijke shared the amazing find on his Twitter page.
“It was as bright as it looks in the images. Colors are realistic. Very happy the shot turned out the way it did!” the photographer and geography teacher writes.
Asteroid Sar2667, about a meter in diameter, was expected to fall near the French city of Le Havre at 02:59h UTC. I drove to a photogenic spot close to home in the south of the Netherlands to capture it, just as the sky cleared.#asteroid #meteor @IMOmeteors @apod pic.twitter.com/MNZofhkrd7
— Gijs de Reijke (@GijsDeReijke) February 13, 2023
This marks just the seventh time astronomers detected a meteor before it collided with the Earth. In November 2022, scientists discovered a meteor heading for Earth just hours before it landed in Canada.