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HOW HIGH IS A PERSEID? Perseid meteors seem so nearby when they fly overhead, but appearances can be deceiving. Consider the following fireball, which lit up the sky above the Marshall Space Flight Center two nights ago:
NASA astronomer Bill Cooke photographed the Perseid using not one but two all-sky cameras located 100 miles apart. The system's wide baseline, which crosses state lines between Alabama and Georgia, allowed him to triangulate the meteor's position and measure its velocity. "It came in at 58.8 km/s (130,000 mph) and disintegrated between 111 and 86 km above Earth's surface," he says.
So far, the dual-camera system has captured seven bright Perseids suitable for analysis. Cooke's histograms of starting and ending heights answer the question, how high is a Perseid?
A successful observation of a meteor consists of two images (photographs) from stations separated by 20km or more [McCrosky, 1965]. This dual observation data set allows the scientist to determine the true path the meteor will take through the atmosphere, its probable impact location, as well as its previous heliocentric orbit. Two stations could supply such data sets, as attempted by Harvard in 1936 and Ondrejov in 1951, however success would be inhibited by the sky coverage limitations of only two stations. Therefore networks of photographic observations stations of greater than two stations were established (See Table 1) to formally observe the night sky in hopes of acquiring the aforementioned data sets reliably. The following are the original formal networks (> two stations) that began from 1963 – 1969
Originally posted by Majiq
I think that people are missing the point of the OP, or maybe I am, but if I understand correctly then this could in fact be a useful tool in eliminating possibilities or or confirming that something is in fact a possibility.