A fireball hurtled across the Malaga night sky in the province in the early hours of this Tuesday morning, after entering the Earth's atmosphere at 60,000 kilometres an hour and travelling almost parallel to the ground.

José María Madiedo, a researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Astrophysics and the astrophysicist who heads the SMART project, said the rock had come from an asteroid.

This type of rock which enters the atmosphere at great speed is called a meteoroid. When it collides with the air, its surface heats up and it becomes incandescent, turning it into a fireball.

Four kilometres from Nerja

This one passed over El Madroño in Jaén province at a height of 89 kilometres at 2.44am, and then headed south-east and ended up 78 kilometres above the Mediterranean, at a vertical point four kilometres from Nerja. In total, the fireball travelled 112 kilometres before extinguishing, according to information from the SMART project monitoring stations in Huelva, La Hita, CAHA, OSN, La Sagra and Seville.