Comet Fragment Creates Spectacular Blue Glow Over Spain and Portugal

Comet Fragment Creates Spectacular Blue Glow Over Spain and Portugal

Late Saturday night, the night sky over Spain and Portugal was illuminated by a comet fragment, which many initially mistook for a meteor. The European Space Agency (ESA) clarified that the bright blue-green fireball was actually a small piece of a comet that entered Earth's atmosphere and burned up over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of about 60 kilometers (approximately 38 miles). The object was estimated to be traveling at a speed of 45 kilometers per second.

The spectacle caught the attention of many onlookers and was widely shared on social media, with videos showing the fragment crossing the sky and casting bright tones of blue and green. Despite initial speculation, the ESA has stated that the likelihood of any meteorites being found on Earth's surface is very low. Additionally, there has been no confirmation that any fragments have hit the ground, although there were unverified reports suggesting it might have fallen near the town of Castro Daire in Portugal.

The event was captured by the ESA's cameras in Cáceres, Spain, and was further analyzed by the Spanish Calar Alto astronomical observatory, with the Andalusia’s Institute of Astrophysics identifying the object's cometary origin. The discovery and analysis of such celestial events contribute to the scientific understanding of cometary materials and the formation of rocky, Earth-like planets in our Solar System.


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