Meteor Filmed Exploding Above France As Super Bowl Ends

A small meteorite was filmed exploding in the sky above France as the Super Bowl was about to end.

The object—a small meteorite estimated to be about three feet in length and dubbed Sar2667—struck the earth safely in Northern France at 9:59 pm ET on February 12, the International Meteor Organization reported.

The fireball was seen in the sky just as the Super Bowl was about to end.

This was only the seventh time in history that astronomers detected a meteorite before it breached the Earth's atmosphere.

Meteorite hits earth
A compilation shows three times the meteorite was spotted falling to Earth. It was visible from Northern France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the south of England. Thomas Petit @MegaLuigi / Chris @teh_c

Small meteorites like Sar2667 are not a danger to people due to their size. In fact, small meteorites hit the Earth's atmosphere frequently—but astronomers do not always detect them beforehand.

This early detection was a "sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities," the European Space Agency said in a tweet.

The meteorite fell to earth a decade after the Chelyabinsk meteor hit Russia on February 15, 2013. Unlike this most recent event, the Chelyabinsk meteor was large, at 59 feet long. It caused damage upon impact and injured nearly 1,500 people. Nobody was killed as a result.

Hadrien Devillepoix, a research associate at the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Curtin University in Perth, Australia, told Newsweek: "Meteorites occasionally hurt people or damage property but, from a planetary defense point of view, today's event was harmless.

"Most of the energy from the impact was released into the atmosphere, and it didn't pack enough of a punch to create a dangerous pressure wave. We get about 30-50 of these impacting the Earth every year.

"The Chelyabinsk impact in Russia exactly 10 years ago, was another story. It was about 17 meters across (compared to about 1 meter), but also roughly 5,000 times more massive.

"The shock wave from Chelyabinsk luckily didn't kill anyone, but injured many because of broken windows due to the shock wave."

The Sar2667 meteorite was visible from many places in Europe. Footage posted to Twitter—of the bright object falling to Earth in the night sky—was captured from the south coast of England near Brighton.

"Nice intermission for the Super Bowl," the Twitter user said in a caption.

It was also visible from Belgium, the Netherlands, as well as Northern France. The darkness of the night sky meant that the fireball effect of the meteor was pronounced.

The last time astronomers detected a meteorite before it hit the Earth was in 2022, when a small asteroid hit Toronto in Canada, on November 19. It was discovered about four hours before it made contact with the Earth.

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