Berlin (dpa) – A small asteroid burned up near Berlin on Sunday evening. NASA's asteroid monitoring agency had previously announced the fireball at 1:32 a.m. (CET) on Sunday morning near Nynhausen, west of Berlin. Many photos and videos were then circulated on social media. Accordingly, the same fireball can still be seen in Leipzig and Prague.
The asteroid sparked many comments on the Internet – and curious visitors. Some amateur astronomers and curious people came to Nyinhausen to search for possible remains of the small asteroid. “You can find pieces half a meter long, and they can vary a lot,” said Professor Lutz Hecht, who researches at the Nature Museum Berlin – Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Research. But if the ice melts, searching will be difficult on muddy surfaces.
“Like a needle in a haystack”
According to the police, the asteroid did not cause any damage. “We have no notification of this incident,” Petra Ortelt, commander of the service group at the Haviland police station, told the German news agency. There are no reports of property damage or injuries. “We were surprised by this announcement,” she said. In order to search for possible fragments, I confirmed that the area around Nynhausen is very large.
Sandro Hoxdorf, from the village, saw the asteroid with his own eyes. “Then I wondered why the sky suddenly lit up so brightly,” he said. He went looking for remains, but admitted: “It's like a needle in a haystack.”
After the asteroid burned up, some people indulged in a prank: they took a large stone, painted it black and showed it to others – but there were no remains of the sudden night visitor from above.
Sar2736 will become BX1 in 2024
According to the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the asteroid with a diameter of about one meter was discovered a few hours ago by Hungarian astronomer Krysztian Sarnitzky. The orb was initially named Sar2736, but is now listed as 2024 BX1. In recent years, it has become possible several times to identify small asteroids before they burn up in the atmosphere.
According to her own information, a camera at the planetarium and observatory in Demin in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania recorded a fireball at night. “At the moment, a group from the Brandenburg Meteorite Observatory Service is searching for the small 'stone' https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/,” the planetarium wrote on Facebook.
At the end of April last year, a fireball lit up over Elmshorn in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Shortly thereafter, pieces of the meteorite weighing from a few hundred grams to several kilograms were found. A meteorite fell in France in mid-February 2023. This asteroid, also about 1 meter in size, had been spotted a few hours earlier. In the following days, about a dozen pieces were found in Normandy.
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