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

Effect of the surface shape of a large space body on its fragmentation in a planetary atmosphere

This article has been submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by Daniil E. Khrennikov, Andrei K. Titov, Alexander E. Ershov, Andrei B. Klyuchantsev, Vladimir I. Pariev, and Sergei V. Karpov. 

Abstract: Employing the finite element and computational fluid dynamics methods, we have determined the conditions for the fragmentation of space bodies or preservation of their integrity when they penetrate into the Earth’s atmosphere. The origin of forces contributing to the fragmentation of space iron bodies during the passage through the dense layers of the planetary atmosphere has been studied. It was shown that the irregular shape of the surface can produce transverse aerodynamic forces capable of causing deformation stress in the body exceeding the tensile strength threshold of iron. 

You can download this paper for free:  (9 pages).


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