Fireball lights up skies over central Spain

The night skies above much of Spain were lit up when a meteor travelling at 75,000 kph pierced the earth’s atmosphere and left astronomers screaming in disbelief. Did you witness the great ball of fire?

Fireball lights up skies over central Spain
YouTube screenshot

A fragment from a meteor caused an immense fireball that lit up the skies over central Spain at the weekend.

The fireball, which was recorded by detection systems at the Spanish Network for Meteorite Research, left watching astronomers stunned when it entered the earth’s atmosphere at around 11.45pm on Saturday.

“The collision was so violent that the fragment burst into flames creating a fireball at an altitude of about 100km,” explained Professor José Marie Madiedo, from the University of Huelva. Madiedo said the comet travelled at a speed of 75,000 kph before burning out over the Serranillos Valley.

The light from the meteor could be seen as far away as Seville and Granada.

“As I was looking there was a flash of light that grew in a matter of seconds. I couldn’t stop myself from screaming ‘Look!’," said astronomer Ana Leonor Hernandez from the Astronomical Centre of Hite, near Toledo. “At that point the group turned round to see it as the fireball became more and more intense.”

“It was like an explosion with everything turning white for a few seconds, like it was broad daylight."

The rare sight had the astronomers jumping around like excited children.

“There were several flashes of blue and green until the huge trace faded into a last flash. We were shouting uncontrollably and we kept our eyes fixed on the sky as if we were waiting for it to reappear.  We could not believe what we had just seen.

Thankfully professor Madiedo said there was no danger that the fireball could have crashed into earth.

Did you catch a glimpse of the fireball over Spain on Saturday night? Let us know in the comments section below.

View footage of the fireball

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