Large fireball explodes over Andalusia, meteorites possible, Spain

Large fireball explodes over Andalusia, meteorites possible, Spain

A large fireball exploded over Spain's Andalusia region around 23:00 UTC on January 28, 2020. The event was particularly seen over the cities of Cadiz and Seville, from more than 400 km (248 miles) away.

One fragment reportedly fell in La Campina de Sevilla, in an area near Arahal.

The event was picked up by the detectors that the Southwest Europe Meteor and Winds Network operates in various portions of Andalusia. Images were acquired from the observatories of Calar Alto, La Sagra, and Seville. According to reports, the fireball's luminosity was greater than that of the full moon.

These detectors work within the SMART Project's framework, which aims to continuously monitor the skies to record and examine the impacts of space rocks against the Earth's atmosphere.

Some of the witnesses, especially from the provinces of Seville, Cadiz, and Huelva have reached out to the research network, reporting their sightings.

Astrophysicist and SMART Project researcher Jose Maria Madiedo of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia has studied the phenomenon, and the analysis showed that the meteorite plummeted into the atmosphere at around 61 000 km/h (37 904 mph) north of Cadiz.

The rock's rapid plunge caused it to become incandescent, producing a bright ball of fire at an altitude of roughly 91 km (56 miles).

Moreover, the fireball advanced northeastward towards Seville and faded when it was at an altitude of around 20 km (12 miles), almost over the town of Arahal.

Such fireballs usually disintegrate in the atmosphere, but according to the preliminary analysis of this particular fireball, small pieces of the rock could have survived meteor's sharp fall through our planet's atmosphere and crashed into the ground.

Further examination is underway to identify the rock's mass.

Featured image credit: Meteors/YouTube

Comments

Vera Bandeira 2 months ago

I’m Portuguese from Olhão in the Algarve and I saw this phenomenon, and I have to add that the incandescence and even the explosion were of a very green intense light.

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