The fireball, which travelled southwest of the Iberian Peninsula, was observed by a Spanish scientific project at a speed of 227,000 kilometres per hour.

The event was detected by sensors from the SMART project, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), the astronomical observatories at Calar Alto (Almeria), Seville and La Hita (Toledo).

According to the analysis of the principal researcher of the SMART project, José María Madiedo, of the IAA-CSIC, the fireball was registered at 3:49am on 16 November.

The phenomenon occurred when an asteroid rock entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of about 227,000 kilometres per hour and, due to its great luminosity, could be seen in much of southern and central Spain.

The collision with the atmosphere at this speed made the rock glow, thus generating a fireball that started at an altitude of about 132 kilometres west of Andalusia.

From then on, it followed a trajectory westwards, dying out at an altitude of about 60 kilometres above the south of Portugal.

The SMART project's detectors operate within the Southwest Europe Weather and Earth Observation Network (SWEMN), which aims to continuously monitor the sky in order to record and study the impact on the Earth's atmosphere of rocks from different Solar System objects.