The images were captured by Erbo Observatory, showing an event just a few seconds long. Astronomer Phil Plait writes that the image actually involves an object high up, near the boundary between the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space. However, the bit of space rock burned bright enough to light up the sky through the clouds and appear much closer. He also conjectures that it was a small rock, possibly a meter in length, and the separate flashes of light were the object breaking up.
While the Spanish meteorite happened to be caught by the Erbo Observatory, there were still a few reports of other fireballs on New Years Eve, one in France, two in Canada, and two in the United States. Of course, if you missed those, there’s a meteor shower going on the next few days, so you might be able to catch a glimpse of something not quite as bright.
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