Further to our post about the significance of the Russian meteroid, we found something today that had to be shared right away.
Just a day after the impact of the asteroid, Stefan Gees, an expert on digital maps and geospatial imagery, reconstructed the path of the meteor using some very simple school level mathematics, a selection of videos available on YouTube and his area of interest, Google Earth.How Mr. Gees reconstructed the path of the meteor is thoroughly explained in this blog post and totally worth reading.
What we found out today was that scientists Jorge I. Zuluaga & Ignacio Ferrin used this very blog post as a starting point for their further work to reconstruct the path of the meteroid before it hit the Earth. While these scientists had advanced software developed by the U.S. Navy Observatory that allowed them to factor in gravitational forces of 8 planets of our solar system as well as the Earth, they definitely needed a starting point for their work, which Gees’ blog provided. The scientists, too, repeatedly acknowledge this fact in their research paper.
Complete text of Zuluaga and Ferrin’s work was submitted to Arxiv, an online archive maintained by the Cornell University, and can be found here for the interested reader.
Here’s a snapshot of what the we have managed to know about the asteroid so far. The asteroid belonged to the Apollo group of asteroids that orbit our Sun very close to planets Earth, Venus and Mercury. These group of asteroids are quite a threat to our planet due to their proximity. Below is a simulation of what is believed to have happened with the Russian asteroid.