The Morávka meteorite fall: 4. Meteoroid dynamics and fragmentation in the atmosphere
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CitationBoroviĉka, J., & Kalenda, P. (2003). The Morávka meteorite fall: 4. Meteoroid dynamics and fragmentation in the atmosphere. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 38(7), 1023-1043.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractDetailed analysis of the fragmentation of the Morávka meteoroid during the atmospheric entry is presented. The analysis is based on the measurement of trajectories and decelerations of fragments seen in a video and at the locations of energetic fragmentation events from seismic data obtained at several stations in the vicinity of the fireball trajectory. About 100 individual fragments are seen on video frames. Significant deceleration of the fireball at heights of ~45 km revealed that the meteoroid had already fragmented into ~10 pieces with masses of 100-200 kg, though the fireball still appeared as a single object. At heights of 37-29 km, all primary fragments broke-up again under dynamic pressures up to 5 MPa. The cascade fragmentation then continued, even though smaller pieces breaking off from the larger masses were increasingly decelerated and the dynamic pressure acting upon them decreased. At each fragmentation, a significant part of the mass was lost in the form of dust or tiny particles. This was the dominant process of mass loss. The continuous ablation due to melting and evaporation of the meteoroid surface was less efficient with a corresponding ablation coefficient of only 0.003 s^2 km^(-2). During fragmentation, some pieces achieved lateral velocities up to 300 m/s, about an order of magnitude more than can be explained by aerodynamic loading. The fragmentation continued even after ablation ceased, as demonstrated by the incomplete fusion crust covering all recovered fragments. We estimate that several hundreds of meteorites of a total mass of ~100 kg landed, mostly in a mountainous area not suitable for systematic meteorite searches. Six meteorites with a total mass of 1.4 kg were recovered up to the end of May 2003. Their positions are consistent with the calculated strewn field.