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Amazing Earth-grazing fireball over the Mediterranean Sea

earth-grazing-fireball-mediterranean-sea-december-4-2021

A stunning, slow-moving fireball crossed the night sky over the Mediterranean Sea at 04:08 UTC on December 4, 2021.

The bolide was generated by a rock (a meteoroid) from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 83 000 km/h (51 600 mph), according to the principal investigator of the SMART project, Dr. Jose M. Madiedo, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC).

The fireball began at an altitude of about 99 km (61 miles) over northern Morocco, moved northeast following an almost parallel trajectory with respect to the ground, and overflew the Mediterranean Sea.

It ended at a height of around 100 km (62 miles) over the sea, over a point located at around 85 km (53 miles) southeast of Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain.

The meteoroid that gave rise to this Earth-grazing bolide survived and left our atmosphere following a modified orbit around the Sun.

In total, the distance traveled in the atmosphere by this bolide was of about 760 km (472 miles).

The meteor was recorded in the framework of the SMART project, operated by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN) from the meteor-observing stations located at Sevilla, La Hita (Toledo), La Sagra (Granada), Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada (Granada), Huelva, El Aljarafe (Sevilla), and Madrid (Universidad Complutense).

Featured image and video courtesy: Jm Madiedo

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