STAR gazers had a treat in the early hours of today (November 20) as a slow ball of fire graced the sky above the Costa del Sol in Spain.
The impressive sight was a rock from a comet that entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 47,000 kilometres per hour at 3.48 am.
The event began at an altitude of about 81 km off the coast of Malaga. From there the fireball advanced in a northeasterly direction. It was finally extinguished at an altitude of 38 km above sea level, at a point about 78 km off the coast of Malaga and 83 km off the coast of Morocco, after a trajectory of 81 km in the atmosphere.
The fireball was been recorded by the SMART project detectors from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Sagra (Granada), La Hita (Toledo) and Sevilla. These detectors operate within the framework of the Southwest Europe Network of Bolides and Meteors (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 Solar System.