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A Fragment Of A Comet Traveling 100,000 Miles Per Hour Soared Over Spain And Portugal, Illuminating The Dark Sky In Shades Of Blue And Green

Jim Cumming - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

On the night of May 18th, the dark skies of Spain and Portugal lit up in bright, beautiful shades of blue and green as a fireball streaked overhead.

People who had been outside enjoying the nice weather were stunned when night suddenly turned into day, even if just for a brief moment.

Initially, astronomers had a hard time identifying the object. It appeared to be an asteroid since the rocky remnants can cause streaks in the sky as they self-destruct once they enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

However, this fireball was moving at speeds much too quickly to be an asteroid. It was traveling at 100,000 miles per hour, which is twice as fast as a typical asteroid.

The European Space Agency (ESA) managed to capture footage of the projectile. At first, they called it a meteor but later determined it to be a fragment of a comet, an object made of ice, dust, and other organic matter.

It is unlikely that any comet fragments made it to the ground. According to NASA, the material in comets dates back approximately 4.6 billion years to when the solar system was formed.

Some comets create shooting stars and pass by Earth at regular intervals, although it may take years for them to show up again.

For instance, Halley’s comet can be seen about every 76 years. The next time it will make an appearance is in 2061. No one knew this comet was coming, though.

The comet’s magnificent colors were caused by the air around it heating up as it raced through Earth’s atmosphere, creating friction. The bluish-green hue was due to the comet’s high concentrations of magnesium.

Jim Cumming – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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