• Yahshua H.

A meteorite falls in Sierra Morena, Ciudad Real

The rock was not completely destroyed in the atmosphere, and a small part of it would have survived, falling to the ground. In Toledo, the Astronomical Complex of La Hita has reported this Saturday the fall of a meteorite from an asteroid in Sierra Morena, in the province of Ciudad Real.

As detailed by the complex in a statement, the fall of this meteorite was recorded in the early hours of January 14, at 10:27 p.m. local time, when an impressive fireball could be seen in the night sky that crossed a long distance. The fireball reached a luminosity similar to that of the Full Moon. Due to its high brightness, numerous witnesses who were in the central and southern areas could be seen from most of the country, which echoed the phenomenon in social networks.

It was also recorded by the detectors of the Fireball and Meteor Network of Southwest Europe (SWEMN Network), which operates in the Toledo Astronomical Complex, who work within the framework of the SMART Project, which is coordinated by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia ( IAA-CSIC), to continuously monitor the sky to record and study the impact of rocks from different objects in the solar system against the Earth's atmosphere. The detectors also recorded that this same research project has installed in the observatories of Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada, Seville, Huelva, Madrid (Complutense University), El Aljarafe (Seville), and La Sagra (Granada).

This fireball has been analyzed by the researcher responsible for the SMART Project, astrophysicist José María Madiedo, from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC), who has highlighted, in his results, that the phenomenon occurred when entering the Earth's atmosphere a rock at a speed of about 48,000 kilometers per hour. The rock came from an asteroid that crosses the Earth's orbit and is called a "meteoroid."

The sudden friction of the rock with the atmosphere at this enormous speed caused the rock (the meteoroid) to become incandescent, thus generating a fireball that began at an altitude of about 86 kilometers above the village of Villas (southwest the province of Ciudad Real). From there, it moved in an easterly direction and became extinct at an altitude of about 23 kilometers above Sierra Morena, almost above the village of Las Tiñosas (Ciudad Real).

The great luminosity that this fireball reached meant that it could be seen from more than 500 kilometers away. The astrophysicist has reported that, in total, the fireball traveled about 63 kilometers through the atmosphere. Another significant result of this preliminary analysis is that the rock was not completely destroyed in the atmosphere. A small part of it would have survived, falling to the ground in Sierra Morena in the form of a meteorite.

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