The Living Force
Two bright meteors overflew the south of Spain on October 11-12. The first of them was spotted on October 11 at about 21:37 local time (equivalent to 19:37 universal time). It was generated by a rock (a meteoroid) from an asteroid that hit the atmosphere at around 58,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of about 84 km over the province of Córdoba, and ended at a height of around 37 km. The second fireball was recorded on October 12 at about 1:59 local time (equivalent to 23:59 universal time on October 11). It was generated by a meteoroid from a comet that hit the atmosphere at about 86,000 km/h. It began at an altitude of around 101 km over the province of Jaén, and ended at a height of about 73 km over the province of Granada.
A very bright meteor was visible from all over the island at about 3:44 a.m. on Saturday, October 17, 2020, reported the Caribbean Astronomical Society (CAS). "It was a space rock probably several feet in diameter disintegrating through the atmosphere," said Eddie Irizarry, vice president of the organization, noting that the meteor left a remarkable trail of smoke, which gradually dissipated over the course of half an hour.
"At first it looked blue-green, and then somewhat orange, suggesting that the composition of the space rock was possibly magnesium and sodium," he said.
The SAC detailed that the enormous bolide was visible in a westerly direction, but was on a trajectory that suggests it was moving over the Mona Canal towards Desecheo, that is, north.
"Its brightness or intensity of light was of such magnitude that the images captured by one of our cameras looking at the sky to the opposite side (East), show that the meteor illuminated the entire sky for a few moments, and turned the night into day," the educational entity said.
Irizarry indicated that after analyzing the area of the sky where the meteor appeared, it cannot be ruled out that it is a Taurid meteor. "There are several details that suggest it is part of the Taurids, and although they are supposed to be caused by particles from comet 2P/Encke, in recent years something of great interest to scientists has been discovered," he added.
He noted that in recent years, several extremely bright Taurid meteors have been detected, and studies suggest that some have been caused by space rocks between 3 and 30 feet (almost 1 to 9 meters) in diameter.
The findings indicate that the debris area caused by these particular meteors appears to contain not only cometary particles, but also some somewhat large rocks.
In fact, to the scientists' surprise, a couple of rocks between 656 and 984 feet (200 to 300 meters) in diameter were detected in that zone, such as the asteroids named 2005 UR and 2015 TX24.
Although these asteroids do not have a trajectory with risk of impact to our planet, what these studies suggest is that the zone that produces the Taurids, could have some rocks that cause sometimes the sighting of some quite brilliant meteor, like this one that was observed from the Island on October 17.
"Fortunately our atmosphere disintegrates a great part of these, so it is just another interesting aspect of nature, and as long as no really big rock with a dangerous trajectory is detected, it should not be a cause for concern. On the contrary, it is another reason to appreciate the sky", concluded the educational entity.
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The meteor was recorded by the geostationary satellite GOES-16 and by a live weather camera. A resident of Redemption recorded the trail of smoke left in the sky by the meteor.