A rock from an asteroid has suddenly entered the Earth's atmosphere at about one thirty this morning, generating a big ball of fire on the south of the country, which has been seen from much of Spain and has been recorded by the detectors of the Astronomical Complex of La Hita (Toledo).
These detectors work within the framework of the SMART Project, which aims to continuously monitor the sky in order to record and study the impact on the Earth's atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the Solar System, the Astrohita Foundation said in a statement.
The event has been analyzed from the Network of Bolides and Meteors of Southwest Europe by the researcher responsible for the project, Professor José María Madiedo, from the University of Huelva.
This analysis has allowed to determine that the rock that caused this phenomenon entered the atmosphere at about 72,000 kilometers per hour over the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Almeria, and that enormous speed caused the rock to become incandescent, generating a brilliant fireball at an altitude of about 116 kilometers above sea level.
The phenomenon reached a brightness higher than that of the full moon, so it could be seen from more than 500 kilometers away and the rock was completely destroyed in the atmosphere, without any fragment falling into the sea.
In addition to the Astronomical Complex of La Hita, the fireball could also be recorded by the detectors that the SMART project operates in the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and Seville.