An asteroid has exploded over the English Channel after entering Earth’s atmosphere in the early hours of this morning.
The small asteroid created a shooting star and an ‘airburst’ when it exploded, it has been claimed.
Currently named as Sar2667 the 1m asteroid was visible from across most of southern England and Wales – and as far south as Paris, France.
The event, known as an ‘airburst’, was just the seventh time in history that an asteroid impact has been predicted in advance.
Social media users shared footage of the rock lighting up the sky on Twitter and Facebook.
The European Space Agency tweeted that it was ‘a sign of the rapid advancements in global asteroid detection capabilities.’
The agency earlier predicted that the object was expected to ‘safely strike’ the earth’s atmosphere near to Rouen in France.
The International Meteor Organization, said the object would have entered about 4km (2.5 miles) from the French coast, and would create a ‘fireball’ effect.
The last asteroid predicted to enter the Earth’s atmosphere in advance was seen in the sky above Ontario, Canada in November last year.
American Physicist and airburst specialist Mark Boslough from the Los Alamos National Laboratory told Wales Online that while ‘airbursts of this size happen somewhere several times per year’ they are ‘rarely discovered in advance.’
Mr Boslough added that it was the first time in history this had happened ‘over a populated area with enough warning to get data’.
Before the impact an expert warned that if there are meteorites they were likely to fall in the vicinity of Royville, France, several minutes after the fireball passed overhead.