Fireball over Atlantic Ocean on November 16th 2017

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On November 16th at 1:06 local time (0:06 UT) a fireball flew over the Atlantic Ocean, just in front of Cádiz (Southwest Spain) coasts. Calar Alto Observatory West surveillance webcam was able to register this object although this event took place almost 400 km away from the position of the Observatory.

This is the third fireball registered from Calar Alto Observatory this week.

As the preliminary analysis carried out by Professor José María Madiedo (University of Huelva) concludes, this fireball flew over Atlantic Ocean at a calculated speed of about 54.000 km/h. The fireball was produced due to the impact against our atmosphere of a fragment detached from an asteroid. The luminous phenomena started at an altitude of about 90 km over the ocean, and finished at an altitude of about 27 km above the sea level. The analysis also indicates that this object probably produced meteorites that would have fallen to the ocean.

The above image shows the path this object followed over the Atlantic Ocean, just in front of Jerez de La Frontera coast.

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Below is the video that could be registered with Calar Alto Observatory West surveillance webcam. It is not very impressive, but we have to mention this event took place at almost 400 km away from the Obsevatory (as it is shown on the above image), which demonstrates the magnificent transparency of the sky we have at this installation.


Calar Alto (CAHA) fireball detection station, together with the one at the Observatory of Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) and others placed at different locations in Spain, are part of the S.M.A.R.T. project led by Professor José María Madiedo (University of Huelva) to track that kind of objects. Specifically, Calar Alto (CAHA) station and the one at Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) constitute a collaboration agreement between Professor Madiedo and both institutions.