A “great ball of fire” flies over Madrid at dawn at 126,000 kilometers per hour
The impact on the atmosphere of a rock from an asteroid, which has penetrated the atmosphere at 126,000 kilometers per hour, has generated a fireball over Madrid last night, which has been seen from all over Spain, and which has shown several explosions during its trajectory.
The phenomenon, which occurred at 3.56 hours (peninsular time), has been captured by the detectors of the astronomical complex of La Hita, in La Puebla de Almoradiel (Toledo), within the framework of the Smart project, which aims to continuously monitor the sky in order to record and study the impact against the earth’s atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the Solar System.
The Madrid Planetarium has reported through its Twitter account that it was “a ball of fire that, due to the abrupt friction with the atmosphere at that enormous speed, is extinguished and does not impact.” They have also detailed that every year thousands of meteorites fall to Earth, specifically, around 17,000 fragments.
☄ Big fireball about #Madrid produced by rock from an asteroid. The rock entered the atmosphere at 126 thousand km / h.
⌚ It happened at 3:56 am this morning (January 21). Due to its great luminosity it could be seen from all over the country.
– Planetarium of Madrid (@PlanetarioMad) January 21, 2021
The phenomenon has also been recorded by the detectors that this same research project has installed in the Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada) and Seville observatories, the astronomical complex of La Hita has reported in a press release.
It has also indicated that the analysis made by the astrophysicist of the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics (IAA-CSIC) and head of the Smart project, José María Madiedo, has determined that the rock that originated the fireball entered 126,000 kilometers per hour over the west of the Community of Madrid.
Due to this high speed, the sudden friction with the air has made the rgoose has turned incandescent at an altitude of about 84 kilometers, almost on the border with the province of Ávila.
This incandescence has been what has generated the bright ball of fire, which due to its great luminosity could be seen throughout Spain, from more than 600 kilometers away.
The fireball, which has shown several explosions along its trajectory, has advanced in a southeasterly direction and has been extinguished over the city of Madrid, at an altitude of about 21 kilometers, practically on the vertical of the Puente de Vallecas district, has specified the astronomical complex of La Hita.