Watch a spectacular fireball streak across the night sky of Andalucía

The rock entered the atmosphere at around 10.25 pm on Wednesday.
The rock entered the atmosphere at around 10.25 pm on Wednesday. / SMART
  • A meteorite, travelling at 76,000 km/h, was seen over much of the south of Spain on Wednesday night

A spectacular fireball, produced by a rock detached from an asteroid, crossed the sky of the south of Spain on Wednesday night (15 September), with a luminosity equivalent to a full moon that allowed it to be seen from more than 600 kilometres away. The phenomenon was especially spectacular in the skies of Seville, Huelva, Cordoba and Extremadura.

The rock entered the atmosphere, around 10.25 pm, travelling at about 76,000 kilometres per hour. As a result of this enormous speed it became incandescent, generating a fireball that crossed the night sky, according to a researcher from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucía, José María Madiedo.

The fireball started over the south of the province of Badajoz, at an altitude of about 91 kilometres, and from there it advanced in a north-westerly direction. Throughout its trajectory there were several explosions that caused sudden increases in its luminosity and that were due to abrupt ruptures of the rock.

Preliminary analysis of the event indicates that the rock was not completely destroyed in the atmosphere, and that a small part of it could have survived, falling to the ground in the form of a meteorite, according to the expert on his Twitter account.

The event was recorded by the SMART project, operated by the Southwestern Europe Meteor Network (SWEMN), from the meteor-observing stations located at the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almeria), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Sagra, La Hita, and Sevilla.