Earth  ID: 4094

Chelyabinsk Bolide Plume as seen by NPP and NASA Models

Shortly after dawn on Feb. 15, 2013, a bolide measuring 18 meters across and weighing 11,000 metric tons, screamed into Earth's atmosphere at 18.6 kilometers per second. Burning from the friction with Earth's thin air, the space rock exploded 23.3 kilometers above Chelyabinsk, Russia. The event led to the formation of a new dust belt in Earth's stratosphere. Scientists used data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite along with the GEOS-5 computational atmospheric model to achieve the first space-based observation of the long-term evolution of a bolide plume.

NPP's Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) Limb instrument first observed the dust plume from the explosion about 1,100 kilometers east of Chelyabinsk, due to the location of the satellite's orbit. NPP's second observation was farther west, close to Chelyabinsk, because the spacecraft's orbit moves from east to west. The third observation of the plume occurred the day following the event. The OMPS instrument could only see the plume during the daytime, and the NPP orbit had progressed westward away from the plume and into night by the time it was again over the plume.

The OMPS Limb instrument observations are made by looking backward (relative to NPP's orbit) toward the Earth's limb. The instrument makes measurements through three separate slits. Early on, some of the plume observations where only made in one or two of the slits, but later observations tended to include all three slits as the plume stretched out.



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Visualization Credits

Greg Shirah (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Animator
Silvia Stoyanova (USRA): Narration
Mike Velle (HTSI): Narrator
Silvia Stoyanova (USRA): Producer
Nick Gorkavyi (SSAI): Scientist
Paul Newman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Arlindo M. Da Silva (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Suomi NPP

Data Used:
CelesTrak Spacecraft Orbit Ephemeris
Ephemeris - 2013/02/12 to 2013/03/02
GEOS-5 Atmospheric Model on the Cubed-Sphere also referred to as: GEOS-5 Cubed-Sphere
Model - NASA GMAO - 2013/02/15 to 2013/02/25
The model is the GEOS-5 atmospheric model on the cubed-sphere, run at 14-km global resolution for 30-days. GEOS-5 is described here and the cubed-sphere work is described here
Suomi NPP/Ozone Mapping Progiler Suite (OMPS)/Limb Data
Observed Data - NASA - 2013/02/15 to 2013/04/12
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Narrated Movies

GCMD >> Earth Science >> Solid Earth >> Rocks/Minerals >> Meteorites
SVS >> Hyperwall
DLESE >> Narrated
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version