A tiny little village called Sant’Agapito, a few kilometers from Isernia, is becoming the new destination for meteorite enthusiasts and scholars. Even more precisely, the locality of Temennotte is the protagonist of this episode, which begins on the evening of March 15th. Second Prism Network researchers, coordinated by the National Institute of Astrophysics, a fragment of meteorite in the Molise area. To reach this conclusion, the researchers carried out calculations for three days, concerning a racing car that crossed the skies of central-southern Italy. For the triangulation, they exploited the data from the Prisma chamber of Capua and two other chambers, belonging to the IMTN network of Tortoreto and to the Caserta section of the Arma Aeronautica Association.
In search of fragments of the universe
By fireball we mean a small celestial body, originating from stars or comets. These meteorites can penetrate the atmosphere and crumble, while creating a bright trail for a few seconds. Therefore, the recovery of these fragments that come from the universe is fundamental for the research. Predict, with the greatest possible precision, the area where the racing cars fall to the ground, which is of fundamental importance in order to be able to find them in the shortest possible time. having precious “pure” bodies, not yet contaminated by the soil and the earth’s atmosphere, explains the Prisma project site (First Network for the Systematic Surveillance of Meteors and Atmosphere), a project born with this very goal. Thanks to a network of 40 video cameras scattered throughout Italy, able to capture these atmospheric phenomena and therefore go hunting for meteorites that have landed.
The case in Cavezzo
In the case of the meteorite fragment that could have fallen in Molise, the researchers speak of a piece detached from a fireball that entered the atmosphere at about 80 kilometers per hour, with an almost vertical trajectory. But in the history of the Prisma project there is already a successful discovery. On New Year’s Eve 2020, a meteorite fell in Cavezzo, near Modena, that researchers were able to recover. In the following months the fragment was analyzed and the results – which tell of the journey through the universe of this fireball – were published in the prestigious Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
March 24, 2021 (change March 24, 2021 | 15:50)