We’ve recently had a close encounter with a rogue asteroid. This potentially dangerous asteroid burst into flames upon entering our atmosphere.
The rogue space rock entered our atmosphere and was luckily burnt up, sending shockwaves across Mexico where residents feared it was an earthquake or volcanic eruption.
The fireball was so bright, it lit up five different states and shook houses with loud explosions.
The phenomenon was recorded over the centre of Mexico where it was studied by astronomer Jose Ramon Valdes, the coordinator of the National Institute for Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE).
Mr Valdes explained that the fireball was considered by many to be a meteorite, but because it did not impact the planet, but rather passed through the Earth’s atmosphere, it was technically still part of an ancient asteroid.
NASA and other space agencies have only managed to track a tiny fraction of the asteroids that pose a danger to our planet.
Smaller sized asteroids, which can still devastate huge areas if they struck are the hardest to identify, meaning a sudden and unexpected impact is a real possibility.
Mr Valdes said: “The trajectory of big asteroids can be seen and monitored, the problem is the small ones that we cannot see.
“There are many, but few reach the ground, however we must be prepared for a big one, because they are fatal and would finish a city and are what we are monitoring.”
In this case, it was the rock’s interaction with our atmosphere that caused the shockwave from the asteroid that people in Mexico heard and felt.
The distance of around 620 miles sounds far, but in terms of a space rock it is as close a shave as possible.
NASA monitors so-called near Earth asteroids passing us as far away as 11million miles due to concern over the accuracy of calculated orbital paths.
The fireball was recorded by the platform SkyAlert, which alerts about natural phenomena, in the early hours of the morning.
The platform tweeted at 01.47 saying: “A White light was seen and an explosion heard. It is very probable that the explosion was due to a meteorite entering the Earth’s atmosphere.