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WATCH: Russian meteor's trajectory video

Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM  |  Updated Feb. 27, 2013 at 10:59 AM   |   Comments

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Feb. 27 (UPI) -- The meteor that unexpectedly exploded in Russia earlier this month, likely hit earth after a long trip beyond Mars' orbit, Space.com reported Wednesday.

Colombian scientists Jorge Zuluaga and Ignacio Ferrin of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia traced the meteor's origin from a video that showed the shadows cast by light poles in Revolutionary Square, where a few spectators recorded the event as the meteor passed by.

CREDIT: Падение метеорита в Челябинске via YouTube

Zuluaga and Ferrin based their findings in the assumption that a 20-foot hole in the ice of Lake Chebarkul was caused by a fragment of the meteor, and that the fragment, which has not yet been found, was traveling along the same trajectory as its parent body, CS Monitor noted.

"According to our estimations, the Chelyabinski meteor started to brighten up when it was between 32 and 47 km up in the atmosphere," Zuluaga and Ferrin wrote in a paper, which has been posted to ArXiv.org. "The velocity of the body predicted by our analysis was between 13 and 19 km/s (relative to the Earth) which encloses the preferred figure of 18 km/s assumed by other researchers."

Their figures were then entered to the Naval Observatory Vector Astrometry (NOVAS), which calculated the likely orbit of the meteor's parent body.

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