Roberto Gorelli points our attention at a recently published meteor related paper:

Dynamics of spherical space debris of different sizes falling to Earth

This paper has been submitted for publication by Judit Slíz-Balogh, Dániel Horváth, Róbert Szabó and Gábor Horváth.

Abstract: Space debris larger than 1 cm can damage space instruments and impact Earth. The low-Earth orbits (at heights smaller than 2000 km) and orbits near the geostationary Earth orbit (at 35786 km height) are especially endangered, because most satellites orbit at these latitudes. With current technology space debris smaller than 10 cm cannot be tracked. Smaller space debris burn up and evaporate in the atmosphere, but larger ones fall to the Earth’s surface. For practical reasons it would be important to know the mass, composition, shape, velocity, direction of motion and impact time of space debris re-entering the atmosphere and falling to Earth. Since it is very difficult to measure these physical parameters, almost nothing is known about them. To partly fill this gap, we performed computer modelling with which we studied the celestial mechanics of spherical re-entry particles falling to Earth due to air drag. We determined the time, velocity and angle of impact as functions of the launch height, direction, speed and size of spherical re-entry particles. Our results can also be used for semi-spherical meteoroid particles of the interplanetary dust entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

You can download this paper for free: (16 pages).

Prof. Gábor Horváth informs MeteorNews that this paper and its supplement can be downloaded from the following addresses:

Supplementary Video Clips can be downloaded from the following addresses:

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