Astronomers have just received a product on a meteor which broke out in Cuba earlier this month.
The day sky sky blinded thousands of people in western Cuba on February 1.
Many of these people have captured frames of a meteor or garbage trail, which he left when he burned down, allowing the reconstruction of the path of the space rock.
"We were very fortunate that at least three relatively reliable videos, including one with incredible quality, could be available on the Internet in such a short time," said Jorge Zuluaga, a professor at the Institute of Physics (IoP) at the University of Antioch in Colombia. . How to see the best meteor shower in 201
"Reconstruction of a meteorite trajectory requires at least three observers on earth," Zuluah added. "Although there were several satellite images recorded, as well as available on the Internet, without land surveys, precise reconstruction is impossible."
Zuluah and his team determined that the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at 76.5 km (76.5 km) over the Caribbean Sea, at a distance of 26 km from the southwest coast of Cuba. At that time, the rock, which was considered a width of several meters and weighed about 360 tons (330 metric tons), traveled about 40,300 miles per hour (64,800 km / h), researchers found
. to the northeast in a relatively straight line. When it reached a height of 17.1 miles (27.5 km), it developed a smoke trail of burned debris that caught the eye of countless observers on the ground. The geostationary lightning instrument on board the GOAS-16 NOAA captured this type of meteor on February 1 above Cuba (a small blue patch in the center of the bottom). Big blue arc in the upper left corner of lightning over the Gulf of Mexico. "class =" expandable lazy-image lazy-image-loading "lazyload optional-image" onerror = "this.parentNode.replaceChild (window.missingImage (), this) sizes =" auto "data-normal =" https: // vanilla.futurecdn.net/space/media/img/missing-image.svg "data-src =" https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/pCQvU49BVFcNQqiSEP4Tze-320-80.jpg "data-srcset =" https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/pCQvU49BVFcNQqiSEP4Tze-320-80.jpg 320w, https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/pCQvU49BVFcNQqiSEP4Tze-650-80.jpg 650w "data-sizes = "car" data-original-mos = "https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/pCQvU49BVFcNQqiSEP4Tze.jpg" data-pin-media = "https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/pCQvU49BVFcNQqiSEP4Tze .jpg "/>
(Image: © NOAA / NASA)
Meteor exploded at an altitude of 13.7 miles (22 kilometers) in an air bomb, researchers counted. Hundreds of small pieces dropped to the island below. Many of these cosmic bits hit the Vinayals Natural Park near the western cube of Cuba, but some pieces fell into homes in the region. If the big thing had survived the disintegration, she probably landed in the ocean near the northwest coast of the island, scientists said.
Zuluah and his colleagues also continued their model of the rock's path even further in time. They determined that he initially occupied an elliptical orbit with an average distance of 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun. (One astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance of the Earth-Sun – about 93 million miles, or 150 million km). To complete one orbit around our star, rock occupied 1.32 years.
Scientists used similar methods to reconstruct the path of an object that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013. It is 400 times brighter than the recent Cuba event, and the first air explosion was much more powerful: the shock wave destroyed thousands of windows in Chelyabinsk, wounding at least 1200 people with flying glass skulls.
can also be read online at online preprint arXiv.org researchers also tested the method developed last year by Zuluah and his fellow researcher, IoP Mario Sucerquia (who is also the author of this article). This method, called gravitational trace imprinting (GRT), uses computer algorithms to track mock-up effects to their origin in space. Scientists denoted modeled rocks that appeared in orbits, similar to those in real ground-level asteroids and reasoned that such orbits in real life would have a decent opportunity to influence the Earth's rocks. have done a good job of "forecasting" Chelyabinsk and Cuba meteors, the researchers said. For example, the GRT models suggested that a shock attack on Chelyabinsk most likely would come from the sky to the northeast of this place, at an angle of 20 degrees to the horizon. The actual fact came from the east, at an angle of exactly 20 degrees
Two examples are not enough to prove that the method works, of course. But this is the beginning, team members said.
"Only after the recent digital boom, we realized how often and potentially dangerous small meteoroids could be affected by populated areas," Sukkerka said ]. "Unfortunately, we are not yet in a position to protect our society from these threats. Our work suggests that, in principle, we could be ready, at least with some knowledge, for future consequences."
Mike Wall's book on search for another's life " Out There " (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate ). Follow it on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .