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Where'd it land?


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Friday night out in the desert my camp was treated to an amazing show. We got to see one come in low and slow, then break up and go dark as the chunks slowed down. I'd bet if there hadn't been a dune buggy going by we could have heard it. Even though my jaw was hanging open I managed to keep my wits and make a point of keeping track of its trajectory and angles using objects on the ground. Now- I know I've seen it somewhere. Does anyone remember the details for making better than an educated guess about where a meteorite may have fallen based on the witnessed trajectory details? I know it's still a needle in a haystack but I may have a chance to make the haystack smaller.

Incredible colors. This was a once-in-a-lifetime thing.

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orange or green tint?

It started as a white light that was coming almost straight at us. Then it looked orange with orange sparks coming off as it was slowing down. When it broke up there was a whitish flash with the pieces going a bluish-green before they went dark. I'm sure it was miles from us but this thing was real close as meteorites go.

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I seem to remember you need at least two people from two different locations pinpointing exactly where they saw it. From that you can figure out it's trajectory and get a ballpark estimate where it might have landed. I believe the formula might be in the Rocks from Space book. If it isn't there, then it has to be in one of Niningers books. I'll try to find the formula when I get the time.

Del

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I seem to remember you need at least two people from two different locations pinpointing exactly where they saw it. From that you can figure out it's trajectory and get a ballpark estimate where it might have landed. I believe the formula might be in the Rocks from Space book. If it isn't there, then it has to be in one of Niningers books. I'll try to find the formula when I get the time.

Del

Thanks. I'll keep looking around too. I'll share the numbers with anyone who might be interested. For us SoCal folks it's kind of neat to know that there is a bunch of fresh space rock somewhere northeast of Tehachapi.

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Thanks. I'll keep looking around too. I'll share the numbers with anyone who might be interested. For us SoCal folks it's kind of neat to know that there is a bunch of fresh space rock somewhere northeast of Tehachapi.

Hmmmm northeast of Tehachapi huh? Thanks for the general location.... I'll head out there and look for it. :laught16:

Del

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the last time i saw what you are wanting it was to do with setting up two or more video cameras and using the diff views to calculate where it should be. If I come across it again i will post the link

Gordon

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Hi Walker,

It's a very difficult and complicated process to calculate the end trajectory of a falling meteorite from just one visual reference. So............what Township and Section number?

Ben

I'm calculating it right now Ben......... I'll give you a call when I figure out where it landed. :hmmmmmm: :laught16:

I just found it in the Rocks from Space book and I was correct that you need at least two people from two different locations to figure it out. It's in chapter 4 on page 59 and it's titled "Determining the True path of a Fireball". I'll see about scanning it in tomorrow and posting it.

Del

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This one will be a little different than the usual distant sighting. In my case, the position where the object exploded and went to dark flight was higher in relation to the horizon that when I first saw it. Now I know that sounds backwards but not if you also know that it was coming towards us in a very flat trajectory for about 5 seconds until break-up. I'm doing OK at reanimating some long-dormant brain cells that use to hold some pretty good geometry info. What I don't know is the speed these things come in at, the altitude where the burn starts, and the probable speed where incandescence stops.

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Hi Guys:

I know meteorites have been found by triangulation before but that's got to be a very difficult process to go through and I'm not sure what the rate of success is, but it has to be pretty low. Unless you can actually see it AND hear it- the chances of finding it are very, very slim. There's a lot of factors to consider and you'd have have to be pretty lucky to be successful. :twocents: :twocents:

Steve

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Hi Guys:

I know meteorites have been found by triangulation before but that's got to be a very difficult process to go through and I'm not sure what the rate of success is, but it has to be pretty low. Unless you can actually see it AND hear it- the chances of finding it are very, very slim. There's a lot of factors to consider and you'd have have to be pretty lucky to be successful. :twocents: :twocents:

Steve

It seems that there has been a lot of research on this subject since the Norton and Nininger books were written. In general, yes, you would need 2 points of reference to determine a trajectory of an object moving through space. But enough is now known about meteorite luminous flight to make as good a guess as could be made if two set of numbers were known. Some factors can't be calculated as they can not be known; such as original mass, fragment size and shape, or wind speed and direction at the various altitudes. And therein lies the challenge.

If anyone is interested, read up on Ceplecha and McCrosky, P.E. Criterion.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, the first piece to make the news has been reported:

.

Piece of the heavens

Couple find possible meteorite in their yard

By PATRICK THATCHER

Victorville Daily Press

December 31, 2007

It's not everyday that a little piece of the heavens drops right into

your front yard, just inches from your front door.

That's what Kay and Rick Green of Hesperia believe happened to them.

"We are pretty sure it is a meteorite," Green said. "I've seen them at

gun shows and this looks like those. We had been walking right past it

for a couple of days before we even noticed it sticking just a little

bit above the ground."

Green had recently filled in a hole at the location where the supposed

meteorite had landed and, although he noticed something just barely

peeking above the ground, he and his wife didn't think anything of it at

first.

Then he decided to dig it up.

"I thought it was a tiny piece. I was surprised to see how big it was."

Without using expert analysis but referring to Web sites that are used

for meteorite identification, Green determined that the object that

landed in his yard has a number of meteorite characteristics, most

notably a strong magnetic pull. Other characteristics are its heavy

weight for its size, its coloring and contours

Hesperia was in the extreme SE end of the area I was predicting. Nice to now have a solid ground reference point.

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