An asteroid fragment generates a fireball as bright as the moon

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This saturday night a large rock from an asteroid has crossed the atmosphere at 45,000 miles per hour, generating a big ball of fire that has flown over the provinces of Toledo and Madrid. The light released by this phenomenon has been glimpsed from almost the entire country, becoming almost as bright as the moon last night.

The event, which occurred at 12:58 am, was captured by the detectors that the University of Huelva has installed in the astronomical complex of La Hita, in La Puebla de Almoradiel (Toledo), within the framework of the Smart project , with the aim of continuously monitoring the sky to record and study the impact against the atmosphere terrestrial rocks from different objects in the solar system.

In a press release, the astronomical complex of La Hita has reported that the analysis carried out by the professor at the University of Huelva and head of the Smart project, José María Madievo, has determined that the fireball has been produced by a rock from an asteroid, which has entered the atmosphere at about 72,000 kilometers per hour over the northeast of the province of Toledo.

Disintegrated rock

Because of this high speed, the rough friction with the air he has turned the rock incandescent at a height of about 81 kilometers above ground level, and a fireball almost as bright as the full moon has been generated. Its great luminosity has led to the phenomenon being observed throughout the country, from more than 400 kilometers away.

The fireball has advanced in a northwesterly direction and has flown over the south of the Community of Madrid, until it has been extinguished at an altitude of about 34 kilometers over the town of Fuenlabrada and has completely disintegrated in the atmosphere, without any fragment having reached the ground.

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