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Asteroid 2024 BX1. They are looking for fragments of an asteroid that burned up over Germany

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Asteroid 2024 BX1, which burned up in the atmosphere near Berlin on Sunday night, likely left behind meteorites. Both experts and amateurs set out to search for space rocks. They face a difficult task because the search area is large and the fragments may be tiny.

On the night from Sunday to Monday, a clear flare could be observed over eastern Germany. Its source was tiny asteroid 2024 BX1, which completely burned up in the atmosphere. The celestial body was discovered only hours before its destruction, but for many observers it was enough to point their telescopes and camera lenses towards the place where the space rock was about to enter the atmosphere. The flare was visible within a radius of several hundred kilometers – also in western Poland.

“Needle in a haystack”

According to local media, 2024 BX1 entered the atmosphere over the town of Nennhausen, about 60 kilometers west of Berlin. On Monday, the search for meteorites that may have fallen to Earth after the object’s disintegration began.

– Because the fall area is large and the calculations are imprecise, we are literally looking for a needle in a haystack – explained Andreas Moeller from the Meteor Working Group dealing with observations of astronomical phenomena. – As soon as the first finds appear, we will be able to narrow down the search area and improve our calculations.

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Employees of the Berlin Museum of Natural History and private individuals set out to search for space rocks. Moeller also confirmed that experts in the field of finding meteorites from the United States will come to Nennhausen.

The search continues

As Monika Staesche from the Berlin Planetarium Foundation explained, the search may not be easy. First, it is not yet clear what type of asteroid 2024 BX1 was – its fragments may look like ordinary stones, pieces of coal or lumps of iron. Looking for the latter would be the easiest – they can be found with a metal detector. She added that some meteorites may be tiny and have a diameter of less than a centimeter.

The meteorites most likely fell on vast farmland near Nennhausen. As Moeller explained, these are quite good conditions – the vegetation is very low and the areas have not been plowed.

– We will systematically search the fields throughout the week – he added.

The authorities of Nennhausen hope that thanks to the asteroid, the town will become more popular among tourists, especially in the summer.

Flyby of asteroid 2024BX1 visible from Głogów (Lower Silesian Voivodeship)Jakub Wolnik

Berliner Zeitung, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: ENEX

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