The Calar Alto Observatory, in Gérgal (Almería, south), has been one of the scientific facilities that has recorded the passage during the early hours of this Sunday, May 19, 2024, of a “huge fireball”, which seems meteorite, over Spain and Portugal.

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As indicated in a note by said observatory, this “really big fireball”, whose passage has been recorded and shared through social networks, crossed the skies of both countries around 12:46 am

This object has been recorded with the detectors that the Smart Project operates in the observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), La Hita (Toledo), Huelva, Sierra Nevada and La Sagra (Granada), Seville and Marçà (Tarragona).

Two of the external cameras of the Calar Alto Observatory in Almería were also able to follow this “spectacular event.”

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According to the preliminary analysis carried out by Professor José María Madiedo (Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics IAA-CSIC), principal investigator of the Smart project, this object had a cometary origin and entered the atmosphere at a speed of 161,000 kilometers per hour.

The initial altitude of the luminous part of the event was 122 kilometers and it ended at an altitude of 54 kilometers.

The Calar Alto bolide detection station (CAHA), together with the station that the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) has in Sierra Nevada, and others located in different parts of Spain, are part of the Smart project led by researcher José María Madiedo, from the IAA, to monitor this type of objects.

Specifically, the Calar Alto station (CAHA) and the IAA station in Sierra Nevada are the result of a collaboration agreement between Professor Madiedo and both institutions.

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