Blue Flash Caught in Night Sky Over Spain and Portugal

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Stunning Phenomenon Captivates Social Media

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s a blue meteor? Fireball? Piece of a comet?

Whatever it was, it lit up the night sky for millions of people early Sunday morning in Spain and Portugal. Social media users took stunning pictures and videos for all to revel in the natural science phenomenon.

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Details of the Spectacular Sight

The spectacular sight crossed the night sky at 12:46 a.m., according to CCTV footage released by the mayor’s office in Cádiz.

European Space Agency’s Explanation

The European Space Agency (ESA) Operations says the “blue meteor” everyone is referring to was actually “a small piece of a comet” that flew over the European countries at the speed of 45 kilometers a second, which is equivalent to almost 28 miles.

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Burning Up Over the Atlantic

It burned up over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of 60 kilometers, or more than 37 miles above the surface.

“The likelihood of any meteorites being found is very low,” ESA Operations tweeted after the agency’s Planetary Defence Office analyzed the size and trajectory of the object.

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Color Explained by NASA

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration explains the color was likely due to magnesium, and that “meteor color depends on whether the metal atom emissions or the air plasma emissions dominate.”

Origin of the Comet

“Short-period comets, also known as periodic comets, originate from a disk-shaped band of icy objects known as the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune’s orbit, with gravitational interactions with the outer planets dragging these bodies inward, where they become active comets,” Space.com states.

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Public Reaction

Many on social media referred to what they witnessed as a “once in a lifetime sight,” according to news.com.au, with at least one joking, “That’s no meteor, that’s Optimus Prime.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What was the blue flash in the sky?

The blue flash was a small piece of a comet that burned up in the sky over Spain and Portugal.

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When did the event occur?

The event occurred early Sunday morning at 12:46 a.m.

Where did the event take place?

The event was visible in the night sky over Spain and Portugal.

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What caused the blue color?

According to NASA, the blue color was likely caused by magnesium in the comet.

How fast was the comet traveling?

The comet was traveling at a speed of 45 kilometers per second, or almost 28 miles per second.

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Will any meteorites be found?

ESA Operations stated that the likelihood of finding any meteorites is very low.

What is the Kuiper Belt?

The Kuiper Belt is a disk-shaped band of icy objects beyond Neptune’s orbit, where many short-period comets originate.

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What was the public’s reaction?

Many people on social media described the event as a “once in a lifetime sight,” with some making humorous comments.

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