The Russia meteor’s origin has been uncovered by scientists after they studied the object’s trajectory from data taken from local camera footage.
The meteor injured 1,000 people in Russia earlier this month when it exploded over a small town and landed in a frozen lake.
Scientists first determined the meteor’s path through the atmosphere, then traced its orbit around the sun, reports USA Today.
After that, Scientists put the data into astronomy software and discovered the meteor’s origin. It is likely that the meteor was part of the Apollo asteroid group which is an asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
While scientists were working on the Russia meteor’s origin, experts in the country were learning more about the space rock itself.
There was nothing particularly special about the meteor, called a chondrite. It is the most common kind of space rock near Earth. It apparently spend 4.5 billion years in space before it hit Russia two weeks ago.
The asteroids cross Earth’s orbit, so an encounter from one is not unusual, notes BBC. Dr. Stephen Lowry with the University of Kent complimented the scientists on their quick results. Lowry added:
“It certainly looks like it was a member of the Apollo class of asteroids. Its elliptical, low inclination orbit, indicated a solar system origin, most likely from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.”
He added that more data would help to “determine roughly where in the asteroid belt it came from.” More research will be needed to gather the data.
Meanwhile, volunteer skiers have traveled through 31 miles of the Russia meteor’s debris field. They picked up more than 100 pieces of the space rock, the largest of which weighed in at 2.2 pounds.
Some chunks of the space rock have been sold online for more than $16,000, even though they haven’t been authenticated by astronomers yet. Guides have also started offering tours of the impact area.