Video: Asteroid Headed Towards Earth Explodes Above Africa

Witnesses described it as equal to the sun in brilliance and accompanied by thunderous explosions.

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Video: Asteroid Headed Towards Earth Explodes Above Africa

An artist's concept of a near-Earth object, as shared by NASA.

A boulder-size asteroid disintegrated over Africa just hours after its discovery on Saturday morning, June 2. According to NASA, the asteroid was determined to be on a collision course with Earth, with impact just hours away. However, at just 6-feet across, it was deemed too small to pose any danger. Saturday's asteroid was first discovered by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey, located near Tucson, Arizona. Its harmless explosion was caught on camera by two different people, who shared their videos online.

A video posted on YouTube by Melissa Delport shows the asteroid burning up in the evening sky over Botswana, eight hours after first being noticed. The video was captured at a farm just across the border in South Africa, and has gathered over 1 lakh views since being shared on June 3.

According to the Sky & Telescope, the meteoroid grew into a spectacular fireball while travelling at a speed of 17 kilometres per second. Witnesses described it as equal to the sun in brilliance and accompanied by thunderous explosions.

Another video of the explosion was shared by Barend Swanepoel on the American Meteor Society website.

"The advantage I had was I saw it in colour. It was not like on the cameras. It was a fireball falling with this red tail behind it," Mr Swanepoel said to Sowetan Live.

Mr Swanepoel, who was driving when he saw the asteroid, phoned his neighbour and told him to check his security cameras.

"One of the small cameras monitoring the barn with feed for his animals caught the footage that you saw on social media."
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