A “spectacular” ball of fire, detected by the Astronomical Complex of La Hita (Toledo) and numerous people, flew over Castilla-La Mancha at midnight on July 24or.
Most of these witnesses, who immediately echoed the phenomenon on social networks, they were in the central and southern areas of the country. This fireball was produced when a rock from an asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere at high speed.
It was recorded by the detectors that the Southwest Europe Fireball and Meteor Network (SWEMN Network) operates at the La Hita Astronomical Complex. These detectors work within the framework of the SMART Project, which is coordinated by the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics (IAA-CSIC) with the aim of continuously monitoring the sky to record and study the impact against the earth’s atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the world. Solar system.
It has also been recorded by the detectors that this same research project has installed in the observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Seville and Madrid (Complutense University), as reported by the Astrohita Foundation in a press release.
This phenomenon has been analyzed by the researcher in charge of the SMART Project, the astrophysicist José María Madiedo from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC). This analysis has made it possible to determine that the rock that originated the fireball entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 75 thousand kilometers per hour and came from an asteroid. 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 85 kilometers above the south of Ciudad Real.
Specifically, it began on the vertical of Sierra Morena and almost on the border between the communities of Castilla-La Mancha and Andalusia. From there he advanced in a southeasterly direction, ending at an altitude of about 34 kilometers above the town of Ibros, in the province of Jaén. The great luminosity of the fireball made it possible to see it from more than 500 kilometers away.