Scientists have discovered a near-Earth asteroid just hours before it exploded in Berlin

Early Sunday morning (Jan. 21), a small asteroid streaked across the sky and crashed into Earth's atmosphere near Berlin, leaving a bright but harmless fireball visible for miles. Such sightings usually happen a few times a year — but this one was unique because it was first spotted by scientists about three hours before impact — the eighth time researchers have spotted one of these space rocks before it hit.

Asteroid, dub 2024 BXIFirst discovered by a self-proclaimed asteroid hunter Krisztian Sárneczky, an astronomer at the Piszkéstető Mountain Station, part of the Konkoli Observatory in Hungary. He used to identify the cosmic rock 60-cm Schmidt telescope in the lab. Shortly after the discovery of the space rock, NASA made detailed predictions of where and when the meteorite would hit.

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