Bright Geminid above Jaén (South Spain) on December 14th 2018 early morning


pathOn the early morning of December 14th 2018, at 3:30 UT a very bright geminid flew above Jaén province (Andalucía – South Spain). This event could be registered by the SMART Project detectors located at Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada), Sevilla, Huelva and La Hita (Toledo) observatories. The Calar Alto Observatory northwest surveillance webcam could also record this nice fireball.

As Professor Madiedo (University of Huelva), SMART Project PI, preliminary analysis states that this bright fireball corresponds with the meteor shower known as Geminids caused by 3200 Phaeton asteroid.

The fireball had a speed of 122.000 km/h and started at an altitude of about 100 km above Jaén province (Andalucía – South Spain) Then it moved Northeastward and finished at an altitude of 38 km above the ground of the same province.

Below is the Calar Alto Observatory northeast surveillance webcam. The reflections that can be seen in the lower part of the image are produced by the accumulated ice on the external glass of the camera protection case.


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.