An image of the fireball, captured in Seville. / @JMMADIEDO

Another fireball streaks across the sky above Andalucía

The latest phenomenon was created by a piece of rock from an asteroid entering the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 90,000 kilometres per hour

ISABEL MÉNDEZ

A large and luminous ball of fire crossed the southern and central parts of Spain on in the early hours of 7 December at around 2.13am, local time, and it was especially visible in Seville and Cordoba provinces in Andalucía.

The latest fireball sighting has been analysed by the researcher in charge of the SMART project, the astrophysicist José María Madiedo, from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía IAA-CSIC. The expert has determined that the rock that created this phenomenon, known as a meteroid, entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 90,000 kilometres per hour and came from an asteroid. The friction of the rock with the atmosphere, given the speed at which it was travelling, made the rock turn incandescent, generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 105 kilometres over the northeast of the Seville province.

From there it moved in a northeasterly direction and burnt out at an altitude of about 58 kilometres above the southwest of Corodoba province almost directly above the town of Hornachuelos. The fireball travelled a total distance in the atmosphere of about 50 kilometres.

The ball of fire was picked up by the SMART project detectors from the monitoring stations in Seville, La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada, Huelva, Aljarafe, Calar Alto and La Hita (Toledo). It was also recorded by the detection station located in Madrid, operated by Jaime Izquierdo, of the Complutense University of Madrid.

The latest phenomenon happened just a few days after a similar sighting when another fireball crossed the skies of southern Spain and Morocco.