A LARGE meteor has streaked across the sky between Morocco and Andalucia at 65,000 km per hour.
The fireball was recorded on Wednesday night by the SMART project detectors from the astronomical observatories of Calar Alto (Almeria), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and Sevilla.
The spectacular fireball crossed the sky between the northern coast of Morocco and southern Andalucia, after entering the atmosphere at around 10.10pm at a speed of 65,000 kilometres per hour.
According to the researcher responsible for the SMART project, astrophysicist Jose Maria Madiedo of the Andalucian Institute of Astrophysics (IAA-CSIC), the burst of bluish-white light was observed by many people in Andalucia.
This observation of this phenomenon has made it possible to determine that the rock that originated this impressive fireball came from a comet.
The high-speed collision with the atmosphere caused the rock to become incandescent generating a white-hot meteorite that began at an altitude of some 106 kilometres above the north of Morocco, almost vertically above the town of Al Hoceima.
From there the fireball advanced in a north-westerly direction, extinguishing at an altitude of 65 km above the Mediterranean, some 30 km from the Moroccan coast, after travelling a total distance of some 50 km.
The detectors of the SMART project 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 terrestrial atmosphere of rocks from different objects in the Solar System.
The observation follows a similar sighting by the detectors of SMART in September, where footage showed an impressive fireball soaring 39,000 km/hr over Spain’s Andalucia
The biggest meteorite that has hit Earth was the Chelyabinsk meteor in Russia. The Chelyabinsk meteor was a superbolide that entered Earth’s atmosphere over Russia on February 15 2013.
It is the largest recorded object to have encountered the Earth since the 1908 Tunguska event. The meteor is estimated to have an initial diameter of 17–20 metres and a mass of roughly 10,000 tonnes.