Very bright fireball over Spain and Portugal

Very bright fireball over Spain and Portugal Janaury 21 2024

A very bright fireball streaked through the night sky over Spain and Portugal at 20:03 UTC on January 21, 2024. This event took place some 19 hours after asteroid 2024 BX1 impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Berlin, Germany, as the 8th asteroid on record to be discovered before impacting Earth.

The fireball, brighter than the full Moon, was observed by a wide number of casual eyewitnesses from Spain and Portugal.

The event was generated by a meteoroid from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 89 000 km/h (55 300 mph). It began at an altitude of about 101 km (63 miles) over Valencia del Mombuey (province of Badajoz, Spain), moved south, continued over the southeast of Portugal, and ended at a height of around 40 km (25 miles) over San Bartolomé de la Torre in the province of Huelva, Spain.

This bright 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 Huelva, La Hita (Toledo), Calar Alto, Sierra Nevada, La Sagra (Granada), Sevilla, and El Aljarafe (Sevilla).

The analysis of the event was conducted by Dr. Jose M. Madiedo, the principal investigator of the SMART project, affiliated with the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC).

On the same day, asteroid 2024 BX1 impacted Earth’s atmosphere over Berlin, Germany. That event took place at 00:33 UTC, about 3 hours after it was discovered — making it the 8th asteroid to be discovered before impacting Earth.

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