The detectors of the SMART project, of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), from the astronomical observatories Cerro Negro (Seville) and Seville, Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and La Hita (Toledo) have registered the passage of a fireball over the center of the peninsula at 72,000 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 at 11:49 p.m. this Friday, being able to be seen by multitudes of people located especially in the central zone of the country.
The phenomenon occurred when a rock from a comet entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 72,000 kilometers per hour over the southern part of the province of Cuenca.
The collision with the atmosphere at this enormous speed caused the rock to become incandescent, thus generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 91 kilometers almost above the vertical of the town of Honrubia.
The fireball advanced in a northwesterly direction and was extinguished when it was at an altitude of about 41 kilometers, almost on the vertical of the Cuenca town of Villarejo-Periestéban; the fireball traveled a total distance of about 59 kilometers in the atmosphere.
The SMART project detectors 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 Solar System objects.