Fireball on Granada on December 11, 2016


At 22:25 in the evening (local time) of December 11 a brilliant fireball crossed the south of Spain. According to the preliminary analysis carried out by Professor José María Madiedo (University of Huelva), principal investigator of the SMART Project, the event occurred as a consequence of the impact on the terrestrial atmosphere of a meteoroid at a speed of approximately 72,000 km/h. The fireball, which overflew the provinces of Granada and Jaén, could be seen from much of the country. The phenomenon has been recorded from the Sierra Nevada Observatory (Granada), as well as from the meteor detection stations operating under the SMART Project from the observatories of La Hita (Toledo), Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada) and Seville.

Jose Luis Ortiz, researcher at the IAA who is studying the event, says that "at the dates we are in, the fireball could have been due to an advance activity of the meteor shower called the Geminids. The peak of activity will take place on December 14, but sometimes in earlier days can produce advanced meteors, which are fragments of the asteroid Phaeton in this case (Phaethon will have its closest approach to Earth in 2017). Until we have data of the trajectory in the sky we will not be able to discard if the ball of fire was a fragment of Phaethon or not".



Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC)
Unidad de Divulgación y Comunicación
Silbia López de Lacalle - sll[arroba] - 958230532