Russian meteorite impact viewed by Pléiades
Pléiades 1A, the first European very-high-resolution satellite, built and operated by Astrium, has acquired an image of 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.
Vehicle tracks are visible on the ice, converging toward the 6-metre-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.