Can we predict the impact conditions of meter-sized meteoroids?OPEN ACCESS 

Jorge I. Zuluaga [SEAP/IF/UdeA], Pablo A. Cuartas-Restrepo [SEAP/IF/UdeA],Jhonatan Ospina [SAA/CAMO], Mario Sucerquia [SEAP/IF/UdeA]

Submitted to MNRAS Letters


“A few meter-sized meteoroids impact the atmosphere of the Earth per year. Most (if not all) of them are undetectable before the impact and hence, predicting where and how they will fall, seems to be impossible. In this letter we show compelling evidence that we can constrain, in advance, the dynamical and geometrical conditions of an impact. For this purpose, we analyze the well-documented case of the Chelyabinsk impact and the more recent and smaller Cuba event, whose conditions we additionally estimate and provide here. After applying the {\em Gravitational Ray Tracing} algorithm (GRT) to theoretically “predict” the impact conditions of the aforementioned events, we find that the speed, incoming direction and (marginally) the orbital elements, can be constrained in advance, starting only on one hand, with the geographical location and time of the impact, and on the other hand, with the distribution in configuration space of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Any improvement in our capability to predict or at least to constrain impact properties of medium-sized and large meteoroids, will help us to be better prepared for its potentially damaging effects.”