A Numerical Approach to Deriving Statistical Estimates of the Residual Mass, the Impact Point, and Other Meteorite Parameters from the Bright Section of the Trajectory

M. A. Krivov

Computational Mathematics and Modeling
Published: 05 May 2022


“Meteorite flight in the Earth’s atmosphere can be uniquely described by a system of ordinary differential equations (ODE), which requires two initial conditions and the values of five coefficients. The proposed approach chooses these unknowns from the range of physically substantiated values and then solves numerically millions of similar ODE systems. A sample of 100 simulated virtual meteorites is selected; these meteorites provide the best fit to tabular data for altitude and velocity, which in turn are reconstructed from real photographs. The selected virtual meteorites produce statistical estimates for all the unknown parameters, as well as flight distance and residual mass. The proposed approach is demonstrated in application to the Innisfree meteorite.”