Astronomers were stunned by a huge fireball which lit the skies over central Spain this weekend. Apparently this was a fragment from a meteor which burst into flames.
The Spanish Network for Meteorite Research recorded the fireball on their detection systems when it entered the earth's atmosphere at around 11:45 pm on Saturday.
Professor José Marie Madiedo, from the University of Huelva caught the incident on video (above) and told the media:
“The collision was so violent that the fragment burst into flames creating a fireball at an altitude of about 100km.”
He added that the comet was traveling at a speed of 75,000 kph before it burned out over the Serranillos Valley.
Reportedly, the flash from the meteor could be seen as far away as Seville and Granada and astronomer Ana Leonor Hernandez from the Astronomical Center of Hite near Toledo saw it too.
“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 Hernandez. “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," she added.
Madiedo said that thankfully there was no danger that the fireball could have crashed to earth and explained, “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."
According to RT News, the celestial display was so bright it could be seen across the entire country.
The video above was caught on camera by the Hita Observatory at the University of Huelva at around 11:45pm local time. The object struck the atmosphere above the Villamuelas district in the province of Toledo, southwest of Madrid.