This year the Christmas star was one day ahead



This beautiful fireball happened one day before Christmas Eve, on December 23rd 2017 at 21:07 UT (22:07 local time). It flew over Mediterranean Sea in front of Almería's coasts (Southeast Spain). This event could be registered with SMART detectors located at Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Hita path(Toledo) and Sevilla observatories. Together with SMART detectors at Calar Alto Observatory, the East external surveillance cameras of this observatory could also record this object.

As states the preliminary analysis carried out by José María Madiedo (University of Huelva), PI of SMART Project, this fireball was caused as consequence of a detached fragment of a comet entering into our atmosphere at an approximate speed of 43.000 km/h. This slow event started at an altitude of about 93 km over Mediterranean Sean, and it finished at a height of about 60 km above the sea.

On the left side image, you can see the path this object followed above the Mediterranean Sea.

And below are the three videos registered at Calar Alto Observatory with both SMART Detector and external surveillance webcams.




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.