A small asteroid twice the size of a Super Bowl trophy struck the Earth early Monday morning, exploding above the English Channel near France due to the Earth's atmosphere.
The asteroid in question has been designated 2023 CX1, according to NASA, and it had been discovered seven hours before the impact by Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky.
This makes it the seventh asteroid ever discovered before impacting Earth.
☄️@esaoperations reported a 1 m meteoroid before it entered Earth's atmosphere over northern France early this morning: only the 7th time an #asteroidimpact has been predicted - but a sign of the rapid advances in global detection capabilities! #Fireball #Sar2667 https://t.co/MzYoIkRaF2— ESA (@esa) February 13, 2023
Where did the asteroid impact the Earth in 2023?
Asteroid 2023 CX1 is a small asteroid around one meter in diameter.
To put that in perspective, the Vince Lombardy trophy, awarded each year by the NFL to the American football team that emerges victorious in the Super Bowl – this year being the Kansas City Chiefs – is around half a meter in size, making this asteroid twice as large.
However, it was likely a bit heavier than the 3.2-kilogram trophy.
The asteroid was spotted shortly after its discovery heading towards Earth, where it exploded in the atmosphere above the English Channel, close to Normandy in France.
However, the resulting fireball was visible from the ground to people in southern England in the United Kingdom and even in Paris, and social media was filled with pictures of the asteroid impact and resulting fireball.
Wow ! Live from Paris center. A lot higher in the sky than I anticipated. And a lot brighter as well.En direct de Paris centre. Nettement plus haut dans le ciel que je le pensais. Et plus brillant aussi ! #Sar2667 #asteroid #asteroide pic.twitter.com/Tf9dRauFqJ— CM Favre (@harlesc) February 13, 2023
However, there wasn't any resulting damage from the asteroid impact. This is because the asteroid was so small that it simply exploded in the atmosphere harmlessly.
For an asteroid to actually do damage, it would have to be much larger.
In fact, as NASA noted, asteroids like this simply turn into meteor showers – something many consider a beautiful sight in the night sky.
Tiny asteroids like this one pose no threat to Earth, but they are an excellent exercise of Earth’s #planetarydefense capabilities that find and track #asteroids and accurately predict such impacts.— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) February 13, 2023
For comparison, consider some other recent asteroid impacts.
Back in March 2022, a small asteroid around half the size of a giraffe known as 2022 EB5 hit the Earth just hours after its discovery. But given how small it was, it didn't exactly result in any damage.
More recently, in late November 2022, tiny asteroid 2022 WJ1 harmlessly exploded into fragments that scattered around Lake Ontario. NASA had predicted that this small meter-long asteroid would impact this location and knew there wouldn't be any harm from it.
Another asteroid impacted the Earth in 2013 above Chelyabinsk, Russia. This one was bigger and caused a loud explosion in the sky, the shockwave of which shattered thousands of windows but didn't actually cause any casualties, barring a few who sought medical aid from the shattered glass.
Incidentally, the astronomer who discovered asteroid 2023 CX1 also discovered asteroid 2022 EB5.