Moment lump of fiery space rock flies into earth’s atmosphere caught on dashcam

Moment lump of fiery space rock flies into earth's atmosphere caught on dashcam

The meteorite was caught on camera hurtling towards southern Slovenia on 28th February 2020, with scientists still frantically trying to track down the remaining bits of space rock

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Moment meteorite flies into Earth’s atmosphere over Europe in 2020

A meteorite which hurtled down to earth in a fiery ball has been found after dashcam detectives joined forces to track down where it landed.

The ball of space rock flew through the air towards southern Slovenia on February 28 2020, and scientists launched a year-long mission to discover it to unlock secrets about the solar system.

Researchers used dashcam footage of the incident from Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Hungary to try to track where it landed.

Dr Denis Vida of the University of Western Ontario presented the preliminary results of the hunt for space rocks and subsequent study at the ‘Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2021’ virtual meeting, which is being held this week.



A meteorite which hurtled down to earth in a fiery ball has been found after dashcam detectives joined forces to track down where it crash landed
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Image:

Denis Vida at al/Newsflash)






The meteorite, which has been named ‘Novo Mesto’ after a nearby Slovenian city, was caught on tape in several countries by dashcams and security cameras
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Image:

Newsflash)




The meteorite, which has been named ‘Novo Mesto’ after a nearby Slovenian city, was caught on tape in several countries by dashcams and security cameras.

According to the study, the meteorite created a loud explosion and a powerful flash that lasted for 3.5 seconds.

As it fell, the rock experienced 10 million pascals, equivalent to 50 times the pressure of a car tyre, one of the highest measurements recorded for a space rock.



The meteorite created a loud explosion and a powerful flash that lasted for 3.5 seconds. It is here pictured over Hungary
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Image:

Newsflash)




The immense pressure and scalding heat broke the space rock, which would have weighed an estimated four metric tons before entering the earth’s atmosphere, into 17 small fragments.

Experts were able to recover three of the rock fragments weighing 720 grammes (25.4 oz), which have been sent to laboratories for analysis.

Despite the successful recovery of these three fragments, the hunt is still on for a huge 10-kilogramme (22-lb) fragment, which experts are concerned may have landed in a muddy field and been ploughed over by a farmer.



Experts were able to recover three of the rock fragments weighing 720 grammes (25.4 oz), which have been sent to laboratories for analysis
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Image:

Newsflash)




According to the study, the space rock is an ‘ordinary chondrite’ meteorite, which is by far the most numerous group and comprises about 87 per cent of all meteorite finds on earth.

Despite being ‘ordinary’, researchers believe that the rock is linked to the Solar System region where Near-Earth Objects exist, and its examination could reveal new information about our solar system’s origins.



Despite being ‘ordinary’, researchers believe that the rock is linked to the Solar System region where Near-Earth Objects exist, and its examination could reveal new information about our solar system’s origins
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Image:

Newsflash)




According to the statement: “Rocks from space provide opportunities to understand the history of our Solar System and are important in studies of how life arose on Earth. However, fall locations often remain unknown or hidden and the space rocks’ scientific messages are then lost.”

Vida said: “By combining observations from several cameras around 100 kilometres apart, a fireball’s position can be pinpointed to within 50 metres, and it’s usually fairly easy to compute its atmospheric trajectory and pre-atmospheric orbit this way.”

He added: “The fireball’s path is in a volume of the world’s sky among the most densely observed by specialist night-operating cameras. Its path would have been caught by at least 20 if it happened just a few hours earlier.”



By combining observations from several cameras around 100 kilometres apart, the fireball’s position can be pinpointed to within 50 metres
(

Image:

Newsflash)




However, as the meteorite crashed into the earth during the day, it was only recorded by car dashcams, forcing the experts to get creative with their attempt to locate the space rock fragments.

The team said in the statement: “To help create 3D models, local people were asked to take several photographs from known locations of buildings, telephone posts, distant mountains, and other landmarks visible in the dashcam videos.”



Analysis of the Novo Mesto space rock is ongoing as scientists hope to gain valuable information from it about our solar system
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Image:

Newsflash)




It added: “The images enabled triangulation of exact locations accurate to within a few centimetres.”

Analysis of the Novo Mesto space rock is ongoing as scientists hope to gain valuable information from it about our solar system.

The hunt for the lost giant fragment continues.

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