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Submission + - Astronomers Used Dashcam Footage to Calculate the Russian Meteor's Trajectory (

derekmead writes: The Chelyabinsk meteorite was unexpected, but the digital age means we’re always ready to capture something interesting. Case in point. News of the meteorite broke with a slew of amateur videos from cars, security cameras, and cell phones, offering immediate proof that the news wasn’t a hoax. The videos all also captured something really useful: the trail of a fireball streaking across the sky.

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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Astronomers Used Dashcam Footage to Calculate the Russian Meteor's Trajectory

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