A fireball crossed the Strait of Gibraltar on January 16


During the last night of January 16, 2023 at 18:48 UT, a fireball could be observed that crossed the Strait of Gilbraltar towards the African continent, leaving a beautiful wake in its wake.

This phenomenon was registered with the SMART Project’s detector operated at Calar Alto (Almería), La Hita (Toledo), Sierra Nevada (Granada), La Sagra (Granada), Huelva and Seville observatories.

Several of the external cameras of Calar Alto Observatory in Almería also could follow this event.

Professor José María Madiedo (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía IAA-CSIC), PI of the SMART Project, has carried out the preliminary analysis, and his conclusions are:

  •    Type of event:: Asteroidal
  •    Initial speed: 114.000 km/h
  •    Initial altitude: 94 km
  •    Initial altitude: 47 km

The path that this fireball of fire followed meant that for a few moments the European and African continents were united by the trail that it left behind: from the province of Cádiz, and continuing through the city of Tetuán, as we can see in the image on the left.

Below are the videos that the external cameras operated at Calar Alto Observatory in Almería, could register.



Calar Alto (CAHA) fireball detection station, together with the one at the Observatory of Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) and others placed at different locations in Spain, are part of the S.M.A.R.T. project led by Professor José María Madiedo (IAA) to track that kind of objects. Specifically, Calar Alto (CAHA) station and the one at Sierra Nevada (IAA-CSIC) constitute a collaboration agreement between the IAA researcher José María Madiedo and both institutions.