In December, England was treated to something spectacular as they witnessed a fireball falling to Earth. The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) was inundated with witness reports, as more than 60 people wrote to the institute. Some described it as the best thing they had ever witnessed.
Laura from North Leigh wrote on the IMO’s website: “I have never seen anything like this before it was like something out of a movie! Wow!”
Lisa, from an unspecified place in England, added: “I still can’t believe I’ve seen one…. awe inspiring!!
“I had to Google straightaway what it could’ve been…then rang/texted my family and friends as so excited.”
One person was lucky to capture the phenomenon on video, which was also submitted to the IMO.
In the video, which was filmed with a car dash-cam camera, a faint streak of light can be seen appearing through the hazy December night.
Asteroids and meteors produce a bright explosion of fire when they hit the atmosphere as it is the first time the space rock has ever met resistance.
Air seeps into the pores and cracks of the rock, pushing it apart and causing it to explode.
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 millimetre have the capability to produce a bright flash as they streak through the heavens above.
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NASA is currently studying Asteroid Bennu, where its OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft arrived in 2018.
Part of the reason NASA is sending the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft there is to gather more information about the space rock which is 500 metres in length.
NASA fears that the asteroid, which has the potential to wipe out a country on Earth, could hit our planet within the next 120 years, with the next close flyby in 2135.
The mission will give vital information on how to deflect asteroids from their collision course with Earth, but NASA reiterates that while there is a small chance Earth could be impacted, “over millions of years, of all of the planets, Bennu is most likely to hit Venus.”