“The fireball was observed by a Spanish scientific project at a speed of 227,000 kilometers per hour. It was destroyed over the Évora district, but it was possible to see it in Porto.
A fireball passed on Monday morning in the sky in the south of Portugal, where the light, caused by a meteorite, ended up extinguishing. The fireball, which traveled through the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula , was observed by a Spanish scientific project at a speed of 227,000 kilometers per hour. To Rádio Observador, the astrophysicist who observed the phenomenon explains that the fireball was destroyed over the district of Évora, but guarantees that it was possible to observe it in Porto.
The event was detected by the sensors of the SMART project, of the Andalusian Astrophysics Institute (IAA-CSIC), of the astronomical observatories of 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 registered at 3:49 am on Monday. Those responsible for the project recorded the event in a video , where they show some images of the fireball and explain the location where it was possible to observe it.
The phenomenon occurred when a rock from an asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 227,000 kilometers per hour and, due to its great luminosity, could be seen in a large part of southern and central Spain. On social media , Madiedo says that “the most spectacular images were recorded in Seville” where it was possible to see the rock in a “bluish-green” color.
To Radio Observador , the Spanish astrophysicist claims that the fireball was destroyed over the district of Évora but it was possible to see it even in Porto.
At 2:49 am, Portugal time, there was a very bright fireball that lit up the night sky, especially in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula. In that area, it was much brighter than in the rest. It was so bright that it could be seen in almost the entire Iberian Peninsula. ”, He said.
José María Madiedo explains that the fireball appeared at an altitude of about 132 kilometers west of Andalusia and advanced from Spain to the south of Portugal, where it was destroyed 61 kilometers high in the district of Évora.
The brightness caused by the explosion “was so huge that the night became a day” in the south of the two countries and it was possible to observe it “at a distance of 500 kilometers”.
Until Porto, it was certainly seen [the explosion]. Because the fireball was so big that it had to be seen at a distance of more than 500 kilometers. Most likely it was seen all over Portugal ”, he praises.
The astrophysicist guarantees that the rock was completely destroyed at high altitude, thus there being no “dangerous remains” on Portuguese soil.
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.
Fireballs have been common in Spain, but not in Portugal
In recent weeks, these events have not been uncommon in the Spanish sky . On November 7, the Valpuesta station in Burgos detected a fireball flying over the Media Zone of Navarra at around 11:51 pm (10:51 pm in Lisbon time) at 115,000 kilometers per hour, according to the local newspaper Diario de Navarre . About two weeks ago, on November 1, the SMART project detected another fireball flying over Spain at around 19h53 locals. According to the Diario de Cadiz , it was possible to observe it in the region of Castile-La Mancha.
However, according to José María Madiedo, what distinguishes the phenomenon observed at dawn on Monday is its “brilliance” .
Already in Portugal, as big fireballs are rare , explains astro-photographer Observatory Dark Sky Alqueva, Miguel Claro, the Radio Observer . Despite the Observatory registering “several phenomena” in other countries, in Portugal it is rare to observe “fireballs and bolides”.
Sometimes they are small debris, it can even be a small pebble, it can even be the size of a grain of sand. When we are talking about a fireball, it is already a relatively larger stone that causes an impact on the atmosphere, which causes that friction and that spectacularity that we can see in the video “, he explains.
Miguel Claro, who was working during the night, does not guarantee that he saw the fireball in question but admits that he saw something that caught his attention: “a very bright star that left a trail of smoke”.
In turn, the former director of the Observatory, Rui Agostinho, explains that this phenomenon occurs every year at the same time but is not usually recorded on video and published on social networks. This fireball is part of a shower of shooting stars, the Leonids. In the coming nights, it will be possible to observe more fireballs related to this phenomenon.
This meteor shower is known to produce some of these much brighter meteors, popularly also called fireballs. So, if you have time at night, go to the countryside. If we escape the bright sky of a city, it is possible to see more of them [meteors] ”, he says.