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Scientists caught the natural phenomenon that was caused by a piece of meteorite breaking off from a comet and hitting the Earth's atmosphere

Spanish scientists have captured the moment a fireball said to be ten times brighter than the moon hurtled through the sky.

The natural phenomenon was registered by the La Hita Observatory in Toledo in the early hours of this morning.

The incredible sight was caused by a 30kg meteorite, which had broken off from a comet, hitting the Earth’s atmosphere.

The spectacle could also reportedly be seen in southern and eastern Spain, including the regions of Castilla-La Mancha, Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia.

Jose Maria Mateido, a professor at the University of Huelva in south-western Spain, explained that the fireball gave out the extraordinarily bright light when it hit the Earth’s atmosphere at around 56,000 mph.

He said: "This amazing fireball turned the night into day for a fraction of a second."

The fireball is just one in a series of similar spectacles which have been gracing the night sky in the last few months.

Mr Mateido analyses these meteorites as an astrophysicist for Spain's Spectroscopy of Meteoroids in the Atmosphere by means of Robotic Technologies (SMART) project, which is a collaboration between Spanish observatories.

 

The natural phenomenon was registered by the La Hita Observatory in Toledo, in central Spain

 

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