Watch as a spectacular fireball lights up the sky in the south of Spain

The space rock entered the atmosphere in the north-western part of Malaga province and disintegrated near Marchena, Seville


An impressive ball of fire flew over the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz and Seville in the early hours of Sunday 9 January. The light was so bright it could be seen throughout Spain, even in Tarragona, and across north Africa.

Speaking to Europa Press, José María Madiedo, a researcher at the Andalusian Astrophysics Institute (IAA-CSIC), said the spectacular sight was a real treat for anyone who saw it. “If what the cameras picked up was already striking, seeing it live had to be shocking," he said.

Madiedo said a fireball occurs when a rock enters the Earth's atmosphere at high speed which causes it to burn into a bright light until it disintegrates.

The fireball visible on Sunday was rock from the tail end of a comet which broke loose and entered the atmosphere at a speed of 150,000 kilometres per hour before disintegrating near Marchena in Seville province.