March 2, 2021

They detect a fireball flying over the southwest peninsula at 213,000 km / hour


A ball of fire in the sky

A ball of fire in the sky

The detectors of the SMART project, of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), from the Calar Alto (Almería), Seville, La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada and La Hita (Toledo) observatories have recorded the passage of a fireball over the southwest and center of the peninsula at 213,000 km / hour.

According to the analysis of the main researcher of the SMART project, José María Madiedo, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), the fireball was recorded at 6:00 (local Spanish peninsular time). The phenomenon a rock from a comet has entered the earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 213,000 kilometers per hour.

The collision with the atmosphere at this enormous speed made the rock turn incandescent, thus generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 117 kilometers above the southwest of the province of Badajoz. From there the fireball advanced in a northeasterly direction until finally it became extinct at an altitude of about 82 kilometers above the town of Villafranco del Guadiana after traveling a total distance of about 67 kilometers in the atmosphere.

The detectors of the SMART project 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.

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