The Žďár nad Sázavou meteorite fall: Fireball trajectory, photometry, dynamics, fragmentation, orbit, and meteorite recovery

1Pavel Spurný,1Jiří Borovička,1Lukáš Shrbený
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Fričova 298, 25165 Ondřejov Observatory, Czech Republic
Published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

We report a comprehensive analysis of the instrumentally observed meteorite fall Žďár nad Sázavou, which occurred in the Czech Republic on December 9, 2014, at 16:16:45–54 UT. The original meteoroid with an estimated initial mass of 150 kg entered the atmosphere with a speed of 21.89 km s−1 and began a luminous trajectory at an altitude of 98.06 km. At the maximum, it reached −15.26 absolute magnitude and terminated after a 9.16 s and 170.5 km long flight at an altitude of 24.71 km with a speed of 4.8 km/s. The average slope of the atmospheric trajectory to the Earth’s surface was only 25.66°. Before its collision with Earth, the initial meteoroid orbited the Sun on a moderately eccentric orbit with perihelion near Venus orbit, aphelion in the outer main belt, and low inclination. During the atmospheric entry, the meteoroid severely fragmented at a very low dynamic pressure 0.016 MPa and further multiple fragmentations occurred at 1.4–2.5 MPa. Based on our analysis, so far three small meteorites classified as L3.9 ordinary chondrites totaling 87 g have been found almost exactly in the locations predicted for a given mass. Because of very high quality of photographic and radiometric records, taken by the dedicated instruments of the Czech part of the European Fireball Network, Žďár nad Sázavou belongs to the most reliably, accurately, and thoroughly described meteorite falls in history.


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