In the early hours of Thursday morning a huge fireball streaked across the skies over Spain as rock from an asteroid entered the earth's atmosphere at 126,000 km/h generating a brilliant ball of fire.
The phenomenon, which was recorded at the La Hita Astronomical Complex, in La Puebla de Almoradiel (Toledo), was visible across much of the mainland at around 3.56am, according to the observatory.
"It entered the west of the region of Madrid and due to the high speed and air friction, the rock became incandescent at a height of about 84 kilometres, almost on the border with the province of Ávila," explained the astrophysicist José María Madiedo, head of the SMART Project, which records and studies the impact of rocks from the solar system and includes the Toledo observatory.
According to the researcher, "Due to its great brightness it could be seen from more than 600 kilometres away."
The fireball, which showed several explosions along its journey, moved in a south-easterly direction and finally burned out over the city of Madrid at an altitude of about 21 kilometres.