Mindat Logo

calculate meteor fall?

Posted by Kevin Farrell  
avatar calculate meteor fall?
March 16, 2011 02:27PM
Is it possible to calculate a meteor fall to the impact site (if part suvived) from just one point?
Does that question make sense?
I've been reading that it has been possible to find a strewn field when a meteor was photgraphed/videoed... Does there need to be two or more observation points?
I saw a spectacular (I think) fall early this morning.
avatar Re: calculate meteor fall?
March 16, 2011 07:05PM
"Is it possible to calculate a meteor fall to the impact site (if part surived) from just one point?"

No, you need two points to calculate a line. If you knew the speed and direction of a meteor, the final landing spot would also be influenced by aerodynamic drag and gravity. A video would give you a number of points, but you would still not be able to a uniqua path for the object. You would really need photos taken from different points and time sync information.
avatar Re: calculate meteor fall?
March 16, 2011 07:06PM
A single observation doesn't tell you the actual position of the object in space, nor does it tell the actual direction that the object is traveling.

To determine the position of an object, you need to have at least two observers and each of them make position measurements in altitude and azimuth. More observations are needed to determine a trajectory.

Two videos, taken from two referenced locations, separated by a distance approximately equal to the distance to the object would be definitive and the trajectory could be more accurately calculated. All of the observations would have to be synchronized in time. In short, this is no easy task and would require a lot of number crunching, best done by a computer.


Your Email:


  • Valid attachments: jpg, gif, png, pdf
  • No file can be larger than 1000 KB
  • 3 more file(s) can be attached to this message

Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically. If the code is hard to read, then just try to guess it right. If you enter the wrong code, a new image is created and you get another chance to enter it right.
Mineral and/or Locality  
Search Google  
Copyright © Jolyon Ralph and Ida Chau 1993-2014. Site Map. Locality, mineral & photograph data are the copyright of the individuals who submitted them. Site hosted & developed by Jolyon Ralph. Mindat.org is an online information resource dedicated to providing free mineralogical information to all. Mindat relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters. Mindat does not offer minerals for sale. If you would like to add information to improve the quality of our database, then click here to register.
Current server date and time: December 29, 2014 11:43:04
Mineral and Locality Search
and/or Locality:
Fade toolbar when not in focusFix toolbar to bottom of page
Hide Social Media Links
Slideshow frame delay seconds