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Russian Meteorite Impact Site : Pléiades Satellite imagery

by Santosh Singh

As we discussed in another post, recent meteorite impact on the Russian town of Chebarkul where a fragment of the meteorite that fell to Earth on 15 February left a hole in the middle of the frozen lake to the west of the town. The meteor was darting at speed close to 18km per second. The object exploded in an air burst over Chelyabinsk Oblast at a height of about 15 to 25 km.

Pléiades Satellite flying at an altitude of 694 km clicked a picture of this meteorite impact region. Below is how the impact looks from the sky.


Meteorite hole in the frozen surface of Lake. Image taken by Pleiades Satellite.
©CNES 2013. Distribution Astriium Services/ SPOT image

Vehicle tracks are visible on the ice(click the image to enlarge) , converging toward the 6-meter-wide hole. Most of the tracks run from the impact area to Chebarkul, 2.5 km east. The asteroid that entered the atmosphere was 17 m across and took 32.5 seconds to break up into several fragments. An underwater expedition is underway to recover the fragment at the bottom of the lake.

The Pléiades satellites generate 50-cm-resolution products ideally suited to precision mapping and photointerpretation. The identical twin satellites operate as a constellation in the same orbit, phased 180° apart. This unique configuration gives them a daily revisit capability to rapidly acquire imagery of an area of interest or monitor a crisis.


SATPALDA is a privately owned company and a leading provider of satellite imagery and GeoSpatial services to the user community. Established in 2002, SATPALDA has successfully completed wide range of photogrammetric and Remote Sensing Projects.

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