Thursday, August 17, 2017

Scientists discern meteor's history, trajectory

A team of Colombian scientists have tracked down the origin of the meteor that struck the Urals on February 15.

Using trigonometry, scientists from Medellin's University of Antioquia determined the height, speed and position of the meteor as it entered the earth's atmosphere. The scientists were also able to extract information from amateur video footage of the meteor to plot its trajectory toward the Urals and reconstruct its orbit around the sun, according to International Business Times.

The scientists were able to understand the meteor's orbiting behavior and conclude that it belongs to the Apollo asteroid group. The meteor was approximately 4.5 billion years old and its weight has been estimated at 10,000 tons.

The composition of the meteor, which has been named "Chebarkul," was "chrondite" - the most available rock type on the earth's surface, International Business Times reports.

Researchers used fragments gathered by thousands of Chelyabinsk volunteers to gather data about the meteor. The largest fragment found weighed approximately 2.2 pounds.