High speed fireball was observed in the sky in southern Portugal

A fireball passed Monday morning in the sky in southern Portugal, where the light, caused by a meteorite, ended up extinguishing, according to information from the Spanish agency Efe.

The fireball, which traveled through the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, was observed by a Spanish scientific project at a speed of 227 thousand kilometers per hour.

The event was detected by sensors from the SMART project, from the Andalusian Astrophysics Institute (IAA-CSIC), from the astronomical observatories in Calar Alto (Almeria), Seville and La Hita (Toledo).

According to the analysis of the principal investigator of the SMART project, José María Madiedo, from IAA-CSIC, the fireball was recorded at 3.49 am on Monday.

The phenomenon occurred when a rock from an asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 227 thousand kilometers per hour and, due to its great luminosity, it could be seen in a large part of southern and central Spain.

The collision with the atmosphere at this speed caused the rock to become incandescent, thus generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 132 kilometers west of Andalusia.

From there, it followed a westward trajectory, extinguishing at an altitude of about 60 kilometers above the south of Portugal.

The SMART project detectors operate within the scope of the Meteorological and Earth Observation Network of Southwest Europe (SWEMN), which aims to continuously monitor the sky, in order to record and study the impact on the Earth’s atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the System Solar.


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