A couple of meteorite strikes on Earth in the past 48 hours have experts focused a bit more intently on the sky than usual.
The weekend flyby of asteroid 2014 RC, nicknamed “Pitbull” may have been responsible for a meteorite that left this 5m deep crater in the ground near Nicaragua’s capital Managua on Saturday night:
“I was sitting on my porch and I saw nothing, then all of a sudden I heard a large blast,” Jorge Santamaria told The Associated Press. “We thought it was a bomb because we felt an expansive wave.”
On Sunday, thousands of people all over Spain from Barcelona to Andalucia reported a spectacular fireball lighting up the sky to emergency services. This is a still from a video posted by Jessica Lleonart from the Catalan town of Sant Antoni de Calonge:
Here’s another great shot tweeted by the official weather webcam of the Costa Brava town of Blanes in Catalonia:
— meteoblanes (@meteoblanes) September 7, 2014
Spain’s meteorological agency, Aemet, also tracked the fireball and are calling it a meteorite, as they say its size almost certainly meant it impacted with the Earth somewhere.
“The question now is to find out where,” astrophysicist Jose Maria Trigo told The Mirror.
Trigo said calibrating the path of the meteorite was a task that would usually take a couple of weeks, but the hundreds of videos and pictures posted to Twitter and Facebook would speed up the process.
Here’s a video of the full display:
Another expert from Nottingham Trent University told The Mirror that while the Nicaragua meteorite struck 12 hours before Pitbull passed Earth, the planet was facing in the right direction to have received an early fragment.