Fragment Of Recent Meteor Found In France

19th Feb 2023
Fragment Of  Recent Meteor Found In France

A one-meter sized meteor was seen flying through the Earth’s atmosphere this week over France, and a fragment of the object has been found by volunteers eager to study the object from space. The fragment of asteroid 2023CX1 fell through the Earth’s atmosphere on Monday, 13th February in Normandy, in Northern France. It marked the seventh time in history that one was detected in space before landing on Earth, and demonstrated the incredible technological advancements made in sighting asteroids near Earth.


Meteor shoots through the sky

Around seven hours before the event, Hungarian astronomer Krisztián Sárneczky, based at Konkoly Observatory Piszkéstető Station, discovered the fireball on its way towards Earth. Sárneczky initially named the object Sar2667, and immediately reported the discovery to Minor Planet Center’s (MPC) Near-Earth Object Confirmation Page, where several astronomers confirmed the asteroid’s trajectory. The object finally broke through the Earth’s atmosphere at 3:59am local time.

FRIPON/Vigie-ciel, a French science project to research meteors, meteorites and impact craters in collaboration with the National Museum of Natural History, the Paris Observatory, the University of Paris-Saclay and OSU-Pytheas, led the search for the meteorite’s fragments.

Volunteers up to the task

A team of researchers and “passionate amateurs”, according to the organisation, met in the “fall zone” to begin their search on Wednesday. Finally, at 4:47pm, 18-year-old art school student Loïs Leblanc, made the incredible discovery of the meteoroid fragment in field in the town of Saint-Pierre-le -Viger (Seine Maritime).  

10 years after Chelyabinsk strike

The fireball’s entry into Earth occurred only days before the ten year anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor strike, which entered the atmosphere over Russia on 15 February 2013. The asteroid, however, was much larger, at approximately 18 meters in diameter. Its sized created much larger repercussions, as almost 1,500 injuries and 7,000 damaged buildings were recorded from its impact.

The European Space Agency asserted on Twitter that the prediction of 2023CX1 was a “positive news story”, as unforeseen meteoroids, like the Chelyabinsk meteor, can be extremely dangerous. The agency said on Twitter:

“The now-extinct asteroid, #2023CX1, was just 1 m in diameter. It posed no threat. This is a #PositiveNews story: almost 1/2 of all predicted #asteroid impacts have occurred in the last 12 months – an encouraging illustration of how detection capabilities are rapidly advancing.”

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