Monday, 24 April 2023, 13:24
Early risers on Sunday morning, 23 April, were treated to the spectacle of a bright fireball streaking across the skies in the south of Spain.
The rock (meteoroid) came from Halley's Comet and the fireball was captured at 6.10am. It was seen particularly clearly in parts of Andalucía (mainly in Cordoba) and Extremadura (Badajoz).
The director of the SMART project, astrophysicist José María Madiedo from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), explained that the phenomenon occurred when a rock entered the atmosphere at a speed of about 240,000 kilometres per hour.
The violent friction with the Earth's atmosphere at this enormous speed caused the surface of the rock to heat up to a temperature of several thousand degrees Celsius and become incandescent, thus generating a fireball.
It began at an altitude of about 122 kilometres above the town of Villaviciosa de Córdoba, in the province of Cordoba, and from there moved towards the northwest and ended at an altitude of about 84 kilometres above Hinojosa del Valle, in the province of Badajoz.
The fireball was recorded by the SMART project detectors at monitoring stations located in Huelva, La Hita (Toledo), Calar Alto, Sierra Nevada, La Sagra (Granada), Seville and Valencia.
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