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calculate meteor fall?

Posted by Kevin Farrell  
Kevin Farrell 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.
David Von Bargen 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.
Mineralogical Research Company 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.

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