A fireball crosses the southern peninsula at 50,000 km / hour


A ball of fire.

A ball of fire.
UMA / Archive

The project detectors SMART, of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), have recorded the passage of a ball of fire through the south of the peninsula to 50,000 km / hour.

According to the analysis of the principal investigator of the SMART project, José María Madiedo, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), the fireball was recorded yesterday, Monday at 11:33 p.m. and was seen by many witnesses, the majority of them located in the provinces of Seville, Malaga and Cádiz.

The phenomenon occurred when a rock from a potentially dangerous asteroid (asteroid 2004 HW) entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 50,000 kilometers per hour.

The sudden friction with the atmosphere at this enormous speed caused the rock to become incandescent, thus generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 83,000 kilometers over the southwest of the province of Malaga, practically on the vertical of the town of Alcorrín.

From there it proceeded in a northeasterly direction, showing several explosions throughout its trajectory.

Finally it became extinct at an altitude of about 38,000 kilometers on the east of the province of Seville, near the vertical of the town of Casariche.

At that point the rock was completely destroyed in the atmosphere without any fragment reaching the ground or posing any risk.

The fireball was captured by from the astronomical observatories of Seville, La Sagra and Sierra Nevada (Grenade), Calar Alto and La Hita (Toledo).

The project detectors SMART operate within the framework of the Southwest Europe Fireball and Meteor Network (SWEMN), which aims to continuously monitor the sky in order to record and study the impact against the earth’s atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the Solar System.

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