Fireball - stock image

Fireball (stock image)
The fragment of Comet Encke entered our atmosphere at 111,000 kilometres an hour

More debris from the Comet Encke is likely to head our way in the coming weeks.

Stargazers enjoyed a spectacular treat on Tuesday evening as a spectacular fireball flew over the southern half of Spain, although it could be seen from more than 400 kilometers away due to its brilliant intensity and high visibility.

The phenomenon, which was caused by fragments from Comet Encke, was recorded by the Astronomical Complex of La Hita in La Puebla de Almoradiel (Toledo), who produced the video footage shown here and the astronomical observatory at Calar Alto (Almería), La Sagra (Granada) Huelva and Seville.


These observatories all collaborate in the "Smart" project which aims to monitor the sky 24 hours a day to record and study the impact of Solar System rocks against the Earth's atmosphere. This fragment of the Encke comet fragment punched through into the Earth's atmosphere at 10:47 local time travelling at more than 110,000 kilometers per hour and at an altitude of 111 kilometers above the province of Cuenca. The fireball moved in a northwesterly direction until burnt out about 75 kilometers above the surface of the Earth.

Ástronomers at the La Hita Complex say that in general the detached fragments of this comet are smaller than a grain of sand and every year intersect the orbit of the Earth from mid-September to late December, so this phenomenon will be repeated again in the coming weeks. When impacting the atmosphere of the Earth, these particles cause meteor showers known as "Taurids".