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Russian Meteorite Sourced to Apollo Asteroid Orbit

The Russian meteorite which blasted residents on February 15, 2013 near the town of Chelyabinsk, caused significant property damages, and injured at least 1,000 people has been sourced to Apollo Asteroids. Researchers worldwide and a group from Colombia used the data collected via amateur video footage of the event, mathematics, and computer models to reconstruct the meteorite's orbit in relation to the sun and earth as well as the trajectory path through the atmosphere. The report was published by Jorge Zuluaga and Ignacio Ferrin from the Univeristy of Antioquia and is available on the Arxiv website.

The researchers have so far applied trigonometry to calculate the height, speed, and position of the meteorite as it made its way to it's landing point at the bottom of Lake Cherbarkul. Zuluga and Ferrin offered that the meteorite was moving between 13 to 19 km/s and "started to brighten up when it was between 32 and 47 km up in the atmosphere." The pair also believe that the "elliptical, low inclination orbit" of the meteorite "indicates a solar system origin, most likely from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter."

Using U.S. Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry programming, the team concluded the meteorite belongs to a 80 million and counting family of rocks identified as Apollo asteroids. NASA officials have reported the asteroid approximately measured 55 feet in length and weighed over 7,000 to 10,000 tons before it began to disintegrate as it fell through the atmosphere. Researchers are certain that with enough data, they may be able to directly pinpoint precisely where in the asteroid belt the meteorite originated.

In the meantime, while researchers attempt to trace the meteorite's origins and orbit, thousands have searched for its fragments and checked out the crater it left behind. Some consider the rocks a precious sign of rebirth while others see it as means of earning a possible fortune. The price of a trip to the crater in Lake Cherbarkul is the same as a taxi ride in the Kremlin. A certain "Meteorite Fever" has taken over the areas of the meteorite's fateful flyover. People have frantically searched for pieces of its fragments as the price of authentic meteorite rock can go for up to 500,000 rubles depending upon weight.

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