Asteroidal origin fireball on August 6th 2021


Although all initial data pointed that this fireball was a re-entry of space debris in our atmosphere, new data have revealed that the origin of this object was asteriodal.

Last night of August 6th 2021, at 21h12 UT, lot of people living in Southern Spain could see the bright light on the sky caused by this fireball above Morocco.

The event was registered with the SMART Project’s detector located at Calar Alto (Almería), Sierra Nevada (Granada) and Sevilla observatories.

Two of the external surveillance webcams operated at Calar Alto Observatory in Almería, also registered the phenomena.

Following the final analysis carried out by Professor José María Madiedo (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía IAA-CSIC), and SMART project's PI, and although the initial data pointed to space garbage as the origin of this event, new gathered data revealed that the real origin was an asteroid. A rock detached from an asteroid entered in our atmosphere at an estimated speed of 90.000 km/h.

The luminous part of the phenomena started at an altitude of 81 km above Morocco. Then the object moved northwestward and finished at an altitude of 40 km above the ground.

The right image shows the path this fireball followed above Morocco.

Below are the videos registered with the two Calar Alto Observatory (Almería) surveillance webcams.


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.