Spectacular fireball seen over Granada on December 11th 2016


At 22:25 local time (21:25) on Monday 11 December, a spectacular brilliant fireball crossed south Spain skies. The fireball was recorded by the fireball detection station belongs to the SMART project. Following the preliminary analysis carried out by José María Madiedo (University of Huelva), the project's PI, this event was caused by the impact against the atmosphere of a meteoroid at an approximate speed of 72.000 km/h. The fireball, which flew over Granada and Jaén (both in South Spain) provinces, could be seen from much of the country. Addition to the OSN, this phenomenon was also followed by the SMART fireball detection stations located at La Hita (Toledo), Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada) and Sevilla observatories.

José Luis Ortiz, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) who is studying this event, points out that "the fireball could have been due to an advance of the meteor shower called Geminids.Geninids have their peak activity on December 14 of this year, but sometimes, some fireballs can be produced a few days earlier and, in this case, they are fragments of asteroid Phaeton.As it happens, Phaethon will have its maximum approximation to Earth in 2017.Until we have got the results of the trajectory in the sky, we will not be able to dismissed if the fireball of the night 11 December was a fragment of Phaethon or not".