Russian Meteor's Origin and Size Pinned

March 01 [Fri], 2013, 0:32
A meteor that exploded over Russia earlier this month likely hit Earth after a long trip from beyond the orbit of Mars, scientists say.

Astronomers and the public were caught off guard by the , which damaged thousands of buildings and wounded more than 1,000 people when it detonated over the city of Chelyabinsk on Feb. 15.

But some YouTube-aided detective work suggests that the meteor's parent body belonged to the Apollo family of Earth-crossing , whose elliptical orbits take them farther than one Earth-sun distance (about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers) from our star at some point, researchers said.

Jorge Zuluaga and Ignacio Ferrin of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, reached this conclusion after analyzing several videos of the Russian meteor, especially one taken in Chelyabinsk's Revolutionary Square and another recorded in the nearby city of Korkino. []

They also took into account the location of a hole in the ice of Lake Chebarkul, about 43 miles (70 km) from Chelyabinsk. Scientists think the hole was caused by a piece of the space rock that hit Earth on Feb. 15.

[Related: ]

Using trigonometry, Zuluaga and Ferrin calculated basic elements of the fireball's path through .

"According to our estimations, the Chelyabinskistarted to brighten up when it was between 32 and 47 km up in the atmosphere," they write in their paper, which has been posted to the online astronomy preprint site "The velocity of the body predicted by our analysis was between 13 and 19 km/s (relative to the Earth) which encloses the preferred figure of 18 km/s assumed by other researchers."

The pair then entered these figures into a software program developed by the United States Naval Observatory called NOVAS (short for Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry), which calculated the likely orbit of the meteor's parent body.

Some other scientists agree that this orbit took the space rock relatively far from the sun at times farther than Mars, in fact.

var LIGHTBOX_DARLA_CONFIG ={servicePath:'', beaconPath:'', renderPath:'', srenderPath:'', sfbrenderPath:'', msgPath:'', cscPath:'', version:'2-5-4', root:'__darla', edgeRoot:'', sedgeRoot:'', tpbURI:''};var t_MediaGalleryBobaSpotlight_start = new Date().getTime();
  • プロフィール画像
  • アイコン画像 ニックネーム:maudevyl
« 前の月  |  次の月 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30