At around 21:30 on Tuesday a "fireball" crossed the skies of Mallorca and witnesses who saw it the middle of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, Deya and Soller, said it was on a north or west to south trajectory.
Francesc Xavier Salas from Deya described it as “an impressive fireball that showed very powerful sky blue light inside and an outer layer and tail with a greenish hue.
Thousands of meteors enter the earth’s atmosphere every day but most of them are not seen by the public because they fall over the ocean or in remote areas.
A fireball is a very bright meteor which ranges in colour from red to blue and its composition determines its colour; sodium produces a bright yellow light, nickel is green and magnesium is blue-white.
“This is the second one I've seen in my life, the last time was 43 years ago,” said one witness.
Lluc Garcia, from Soller says he looked up at the sky by chance, just minutes before 21:30 and saw a large luminous sphere that was divided into seven or eight pieces.
Sources from the Institute of Space Sciences, which depend on the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas or the CSIC and the Institut d'Estudis Espacials de Catalunya or IEEC, have confirmed that their experts are working on the reconstruction of the trajectory and orbit of the fireball, which has been given the catalogue name, SPMN230221.
The Research Network of Fireballs & Meteorites recorded the fireball in several parts of the country on February 23: Andalusia, Aragon, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Community of Madrid, Valencian Community, Extremadura, Murcia and it was seen from an observation station in Ibiza. This video was taken by @vicent_ibanyez from Benicàssim in Castellón.
2) Desde Ibiza/Eivissa lo captó una de las cámaras de la estación de la @IbizaAstronomia operada por Miriam Ronquillo y Leto Ordúñez.— Red de Investigación Bólidos y Meteoritos (SPMN) (@RedSpmn) February 24, 2021
Contemplemos la enorme luminosidad del bólido meteórico en sus fulguraciones que, desde las estaciones más cercanas, llegó a superar a la Luna pic.twitter.com/4JmfYA33ob
The scientific and outreach task of the Research Network is fundamental to monitoring the passage of fireballs in the sky.
A list of the main fireballs is on their website and Dr Josep Maria Trigo, Senior Scientist and I.P. of the Group of Meteorites, Minor Bodies & Planetary Sciences of the Institute of Space Sciences, keeps it up to date based on the records received from different nodes.
Around 500 fireballs are detected from 30 operating stations in Spain every year, but only the brightest ones appear on the list.