No harm done by disintegrating asteroid

No harm done by disintegrating asteroid

NASA: Archives at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Washington headquarters Photo credit: CC/Radio Fan

A small asteroid measuring roughly one metre across disintegrated harmlessly over Germany on Sunday, Janary 21.

NASA’s Scout impact assessment system calculated where and when the asteroid would impact Earth’s atmosphere, at the same time giving a useful demonstration of its splanetary defence capability, the US space administration said.

Ninety-five minutes before impacting the Earth’s atmosphere, Scout’s impact hazard assessment system gave advance warning as to where and when the asteroid would impact.

“This was the eighth time in history that a small Earth-bound asteroid has been detected while still in space, before entering and disintegrating in our atmosphere,” a NASA statement announced afterwards.

The asteroid’s impact produced a bright bolide – more commonly known as a fireball –  which could be seen from as far away as the Czech Republic and would have scattered small meteorites on the ground at the impact site about 60 kilometres west of Berlin.

The asteroid was later assigned the name 2024 BX1.

While NASA reports on near-Earth objects (NEOs) of all sizes, the agency has been tasked with detecting and tracking NEOs which are 140 metres in size or larger, capable of causing significant damage should they impact.

“Those objects can be spotted much further in advance than small ones like 2024 BX1,” NASA said.

“Tiny asteroids like this impact our planet from time to time. They pose no hazard to life on Earth but can provide a useful demonstration of NASA’s planetary defence capabilities including Scout’s rapid-response trajectory computation and impact alerts.”

The 2024 BX1 was first spotted less than three hours before its impact by the Piszkesteto Mountain Station of the Konkoly Observatory near Budapest (Hungary).

This was reported to the Minor Planet Centre – the internationally-recognized clearinghouse for the position measurements of small solar system bodies – and automatically posted on the center’s Near-Earth Object Confirmation Page enablinhg other astronomers to make additional observations.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at