Meteor Ping using the EAARO Very High Frequency Detector
A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth's surface. A meteorite's size can range from small to extremely large. Most meteorites derive from small astronomical objects called meteoroids, but they are also sometimes produced by impacts of asteroids. When a meteoroid enters the atmosphere, frictional, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gasses cause the body to heat up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting/falling star.
As meteoroids plunge through Earth's atmosphere they disintegrate at an altitude of 80 to 130 km. The fiery trails they leave behind are full of ionized gases that reflect radio waves. Amateur radio operators routinely use a layer of Earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere (which is ionized by solar ultraviolet radiation) to bounce shortwave signals over the horizon for long distance communications. Disintegrating meteoroids create a short-lived mini-ionosphere that disappears as electron and ions in the trail can recombine to form neutral molecules. But for a few seconds distant radio signals can bounce off the meteor trail, giving rise to a radar-like "ping" in receivers.
By counting such echoes, scientists and astronomers can estimate the number of tiny meteoroids in the vicinity of our planet.
EAARO will be recording and logging this data which will be made available to the scientific community.