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Video: Stunning meteor lights up the sky over Europe

In World
May 20, 2024

(KTLA) — Cell phone and security cameras captured footage of a brilliant meteor that raced across the night sky over Portugal and Spain on Saturday evening.

The bright green fireball appeared at 6:46 p.m. local time, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). The agency called the object a “stunning meteor” on the social media platform X, later adding that it came from a comet.

NASA explains on its website that comets are icy “cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock, and dust that orbit the Sun.” They can range in width from a few miles to tens of miles. Meteors are smaller bits of rocks and ice ejected from comets, asteroids, the Moon or other planets.

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Scientists estimate the meteor recently spotted over Europe was traveling at around 100,000 miles per hour and likely burned up over the Atlantic Ocean roughly 38 miles above the Earth.

“Our Planetary Defence Office are currently analysing the size and trajectory of the object to assess the chance that any material made it to the surface,” the ESA posted on X, adding later that it was unlikely any fragments of the meteor would be found.

The comet fragment has since been named SPMN180524F. Social media users have marveled at the sight of it, with some calling the object “breathtaking” and “spectacular”

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