To researchers, that’s perfect trajectory data. Amateur videos caught enough of the fireball’s trajectory that Jorge Zuluaga and Ignacio Ferrin, two researchers at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia, were able to work backward to find the meteorite’s orbit and origin. Their results are now available on the arXiv pre-print server (PDF).
The Colombian researchers were inspired by Stefen Geens, who first published an estimate of the Chelyabinsk meteor’s path. Matching dashboard and security cameras footage with data from Google Earth, he was able to reconstruct the path of the rock as it entered the atmosphere. It matched the trajectory image taken by the geostationary weather satellite Meteosat-9.
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