Scientists discover an asteroid near Earth hours before it exploded over Berlin

In the early morning hours of Sunday (January 21), a small asteroid hurtled across the sky and slammed into Earth's atmosphere near Berlin, producing a bright but harmless fireball that can be seen for miles around. Such sightings usually happen several times a year – but this time was unique because it was first discovered by scientists approximately three hours before the impact – only the eighth time that researchers have detected one of these space rocks before it collided.

The asteroid is called 2024 BXIIt was first discovered by a self-proclaimed asteroid hunter Christian Sarnitsky, an astronomer at Piszkéstető Mountain Station, part of the Konkoli Observatory in Hungary. Learn about the cosmic rock using 60 cm Schmidt telescope at the observatory. Shortly after the space rock was discovered, NASA provided a detailed prediction of where and when the meteorite would fall.

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