So how can we tell that the Russian meteor isn’t related to asteroid 2012 DA14?
One way is to look at meteor showers — the Orionids all have similar orbits to their parent comet, Halley. Similarly, the Geminids all move in orbits that closely resemble the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which produced them. So if the Russian meteor was a fragment of 2012 DA14, it would have an orbit very similar to that of the asteroid.
It does not…
If you look at the image, the orbit of the Earth is the green circle. That of 2012 DA14 is the blue ellipse that is almost entirely within the orbit of the Earth; notice that it is close to circular. The other blue ellipse, stretching way beyond the orbit of Mars, is the first determination of the orbit of the Russian meteor. Notice that the two are nothing alike; in fact, they aren’t even close.
This is one reason — a big one — why NASA says the asteroid 2012 DA14 are not connected.
Text/image credit: NASA/MSFC/Meteroid Environment Office
35 thoughts on “How Do We Know the Russian Meteor and 2012 DA14 Aren't Related?”
Do you image in different plane? I compared the trajectory of DA14 to Russian meteorite and found differences, but not in that plane.
One question. Where was the moon in relation to the orbit of DA14 in the event DA14 had a companion object travelling in advance. A waxing crescent moon would be between the earth and sun, and therefore (possibly) in a position to deflect the orbit of any such fragments.
In the video of 2012 DA14, which I saw posted on NASA’s website today, Feb. 16/13, a second slightly larger asteroid appears to cross behind it, crossing approximately at a 50-degree angle to the SW in the final second or two. Do you know anything about this one, it’s true size, where it was headed, etc.?
My understanding is that paired or fragmented asteroids are not uncommon. Since the pieces can be in complex orbital relationships with other, and since these orbits would not be limited to the orbital plane of the largest piece, how is it possible for you to determine that the path of the meteor isn’t a possible orbital path in relation to the asteroid.
try Delta Leonids against the two… hmm..
First off I understand NASA not wanting to alarm the public but come on. Three strikes as 2013 DA14 is passing earth.
Russian strike hours before and then the two over north america hours after, both of which had a south-north trajectory. The Russian strike, I hypothesize was leading DA14 and had a slightly smaller orbit. Captured by the earth gravity with a small effect from the moons gravity and pulled over the northern hemisphere entering the atmosphere over Russia. Resulting in the north-south west trajectory.
Is there any data on the Russian meteor entry angle?
With that being said, how will this effect NASA and NEO funding?
I wonder, are there any preliminary data yet on how this close approach of 2012 DA14 changed its orbit?
Hi, I have nine years and would like to know what a meteorite could cause the planet if not to fragment before hitting the ground
When was the orbit determined?
If the public is not going to be warned of an impact then save the cash and shut down this operation. Its better no one knows.
The asteroid 2012 DA14 was expected to pass above Indian Ocean on 14 February 2013. The meteor, which fell in Russia on 13 February 2013, was not expected. Most scientists have expressed that the befallen meteor was not related to the expected asteroid and it was only a coincidence that these two events happened almost concurrently.
If the expected asteroid 2012 DA14 were not same as the meteor fallen in Russia, scientists would have observed the asteroid somewhere nearby its expected location sometime on its expected day. However, there was no solid observation of such an event. If the meteor fallen in Russia were not same as the expected asteroid, scientists would have observed the meteor long before its falling. However, there was no observation of such an event. Based on this, it is reasonable to conjecture that the befallen meteor is same as the expected asteroid.
The asteroid 2012 DA14 was expected to travel from north to south. The befallen meteor traveled from south to north. Based on this difference in their directions, scientists have ruled out any relation between the two. However, as explained below, this difference in their directions does not prove that they are different objects.
Even though the asteroid was tiny and moving at a great speed, the gravitational force between the Earth and the asteroid can change the asteroid’s trajectory. The probability of such a change in the asteroid’s trajectory can be quite significant. It is likely that the duration and magnitude of such a change were too small to be picked up by today’s computational resources.
It is possible that when the asteroid entered into the Earth’s vicinity, it got a sudden gyroscopic deflection by the Earth’s rotation and its speed. This gyroscopic deflection changed its direction, as observed in the befallen meteor.
Because of this change in direction, the asteroid got a great frictional resistance as it moved further into the Earth’s vicinity. This friction chipped off its outer layers and reduced its size and mass. This explains why the befallen meteor was smaller than the expected asteroid.
It was possible for the asteroid to carry some electrically charged layer and a resultant magnetism. This magnetism and the Earth’s magnetism could have created an attractive force, in addition to the gravitational drift.
Based on this, it is logical to state that the meteor fallen in Russia was same as and/or a byproduct of the expected asteroid 2012 DA14.
Just a few centuries back, we believed the Earth to be flat and the center of the Universe. Our advancements of landing on the Moon, traveling to other planets, and keeping objects floating in the sky are just amazing.
It is frustrating, but not surprising, that NASA and other space observatories could not predict the recent Russian meteor. There are too many events going on inside the space [and human bodies], but resources available to scientists [and doctors] are limited.
Let us not forget the Uncertainty Principle. Though it works at microscopic levels, a microscopic uncertainty can amplify and manifest at macroscopic levels. Instead of saying that a certain space object will take a certain trajectory for sure, scientists should say that the probability of a certain space object taking a certain trajectory is so much.
where can I find the orbital elements of the meteor Russian
And what about Cuba’s meteor?
It seems to me that nobody knows anything about space…
Don’t tell me that russian meterite and Cuba’s are not related.
can u give us probability rates and plots for the possible trajectories the Russian meteor took before it entered the atmosphere?
Thanks for the write-up. Keep up the good work!
Even the main asteroid itself changed strongly its trajectory while passing Earth, hence the difficult to predict their exact position on every hour of feb.15. Final pass differed from “predicted” trajectory based solely on parameters like eccentricity, etc. How can you tell that a leading smaller fragment did not suffer from trajectory change if, for example, came displaced in x, y, z coordinates so it took the Earth in a different angle and altitude? You, NASA, could not predict the final trajectory of 2012DA14 accurately. How can you “predict” the past trajectory of an object that you did not detect?
nasa should some how find a way to attach a camera like gadget to a passing meteor . then u can see far as H.E. double hockey sticks
Russian meteor came up STRICTLY from EAST. Please explain how your diagram aloows that? Thank
I don’t like being told what to believe by paid authorities everywhere, when it contradicts astronomical time scales for a cosmic coincidence to have happened. It is a natural process for associated fragments to encounter magnetic anomalies like earth’s magnetosphere and the interplanetary magnetic field, and change trajectories. Meteorite samples found in Urals show they are similar to chondrite rocks like S-type asteroid 2012 DA14, both being chondritic silicates with low metal composition. If it was all done to help avoid panic, than let’s get on with figuring out how this can be predicted. A massive object passing close to earth must have effects from magnetic fields.
that’s just rubbish.
Seriously did you really put a man on the moon?
I really am having my doubt s now lol.
Wow all this tech and NASA can’t let anyone know about a meteorite that is going to hit earth?….NASA u should be ashamed and u have lost credit….wtf do u do?…besides not tell anyone stuff?
How different is the inclination of the 2012 DA14 from that of the Russian meteor? Would you please comment on the inclination of the orbits shown in the figure ?
Next question is on the accuracy of the orbit determination of the Russian meteor. If you include the all the uncertainties of the meteor orbit determination, the possible range of the orbit of the Russian meteor may overlap the 012 DA14.
An indirect connection may be that our solar system is passing through the Milky Way’s galactic plane. This is the “Shiva hypothesis” proposed by Michael Rampino in 1996. Are fireball sightings increasing? Could the rare, synchronous combination of a massive fireball over Russia and the near-miss of Earth by a big asteroid be an early indicator of some major disturbance in the Oort Cloud? How would we know?
What about the other 2 meteors that were seen the day of/after 2014 DA14, over Northern CA and Indonesia, and the one today over Florida?
It is possible that a fragment that was originally traveling in a similar orbit to DA14 had its trajectory altered, either by a previous flyby, OR from this flyby. For example, suppose the fragment’s orbit took it from the other side of the earth (opposite side as DA14 approach), but close enough to spiral back in so that its visible trajectory in Russia (now the same side as DA14 approach) was generally north/south? Because it wasn’t tracked prior to entering the Earth’s atmosphere, I think it would be impossible to know for sure.
If they did know about it before the impact. How is it possible to know the precice trajectory of a meteor like the one that fell on Russia with only amateur videos? What this statement tells me is that they knew about it much before the impact. Where is 2012 DA14 now? Can we still see it?
What is NASA’s estimate of the odds of two such rare asteroid events occurring on the same day? And what is the time period we could expect between two such events.
My own rough estimate is a 3.65 million to one shot and that we and expect a similar event in 3.65 million years (plenty of time to prepare for it).
Along side that what are the chances of NASA screwing up badly in it’s observations and calculations of trajectories? If I had to put a number on that I’d go for about a 1 in 4 chance.
Remember NASA has plenty of time to plan (allegedly) putting a man on the moon and these calculation’s and observation and collecting of data
had to be done in a few days when the man who knew what he was talking about might have been on holiday?
Do any of these question every get answered?
But you guys thought the meteor was 1000 times smaller than it actually was. How can we be certain that some factor you overlooked makes it look like that meteor wasn’t related when in actuality it was. Seems really too big a coincidence, more likely that Nasa made a mistake than two major cosmic events in 24 hours that are unrelated. Please go back to the drawing board and look at this more carefully. I’m sure Nasa made an error in their calculations.
On Copernicus birthday today, let us remember how foolish we were before Copernicus.
NASA and numerous other space-research agencies world-wide have done a commendable work. Let us not blame NASA and other agencies for their not having pre-detected the Russian meteor. Doctors these days can replace blood and heart, but they cannot detect a new tumor. Likewise NASA and other agencies have done and are doing wonders, but they cannot always detect an unpredictable space object swinging by us.
NASA and other agencies might have made some errors in their computations, missed to take account of all forces acting on space objects, or assumed asteroids to be single-point objects rather than multi-body objects (with fluidic outer layers). Such errors are understandable in view of complexity of the problem.
Let us console ourselves that the meteor did not fall on a highly-populated city. Let us treat this event (of a meteor at the time of an asteroid) as a great learning lesson. Let us move forward.
[Btw, I am not related to NASA or any space-research agency.]
If we accept the theory that the moon was created by a collision between the early earth and a massive body, then that collision could have created many small fragments that escaped the gravity of earth and ended up orbiting the sun. Their orbits around the sun would all be different and would not lie on the ecliptic, but would have one thing in common–their origin in the Giant Impact. From time to time, those fragments could all have a reunion of sorts since they would have departed from the same location relative to the sun and would have had similar velocities. That reunion would naturally intersect with the earth’s orbit since they started orbiting the sun at that distance. I would guess that if we manage to find the meteorite that fell into the Russian lake its isotope ratios will be the same as those on earth.
Re:”So if the Russian meteor was a fragment of 2014 DA14, it would have an orbit very similar to that of the asteroid”
What is ‘2014’ DA14 ?
If is, as it probably is, a typing error. Correct it. (anaona)
I live in Kelowna, BC Canada. Around the same time as the Russian meteor on Feb 13. There is a lot of air traffic over the city and I know the difference, but I seen, technically a UFO. At the time or a few days later I hadn’t heard of the Russian meteor and believed this object to be an actual UFO. A few days later I thought “is it possible there was a second asteroid all together that may have “fogged” up NASA calculations. It flew from west towards the east. Would NASA have spotted this asteroid after it passed, if it were an asteroid?
Where is the data describing the paths of these (apparently) different objects relative to the earth? Is it available for us to look at?
Where can we get the translated Russian view on if this was in fact DA14 that hit or not? What did the FKA say about this topic? (the Russian nasa)
Even if the occurrence of a possible collision may have been predicted, it would be unwise to start a worldwide panic attack. unless of course it is presumed to be an…. doesn’t really matter.
Even Nasa has to report to someone, and this someone will answer to … well whoever it is. His decision will be based on the fact that perhaps human race is over populating this planet.
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