Analysis of a superbolide from a Damocloid observed over Spain on July 13, 2012

Madiedo, Jose M.; Trigo-Rodriguez, Josep M.; Zamorano, Jaime; Ortiz, Jose L.; Sanchez de Miguel, Alejandro; Ocaña, Francisco; Izquierdo, Jaime; Castro-Tirado, Alberto J.; Morales, Nicolas; Galadi, David; de Guindos, Enrique; Lacruz, Juan; Organero, Faustino; Ana-Hernandez, Leonor; Fonseca, Fernando; Tapia, Mar; Gallego, Felipe; Cabrera-Caño, Jesus
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 436, Issue 4, p.3656-3662 (2013).


A superbolide with an estimated absolute magnitude of -20+-1 was seen on July 13, 2012 over the center and south of Spain. This extraordinary event, which was witnessed by numerous casual observers, was recorded in the framework of the continuous fireball monitoring and meteor spectroscopy campaign performed by the SPanish Meteor Network (SPMN). Thus, because of optimal weather conditions, the bolide was imaged from ten meteor observing stations. Here we present the analysis of this magnificent event, which is the brightest fireball ever recorded by our team. The atmospheric trajectory of the bolide and the orbit in the Solar System of the parent meteoroid were obtained. The emission spectrum produced during the ablation of this particle is also discussed. We found that the meteoroid, which was following a Halley Type Comet orbit, was depleted in Na and had a tensile strength one order of magnitude higher than that corresponding to typical cometary materials. By means of orbital analysis tools we have investigated the likely parent body of this particle and the results suggest that the progenitor is a damocloid. The impact area of the hypothetical remnants of the meteoroid is also given and a search for meteorites was performed, but none were found.