Research: Hot Line for Passing Events

For a few seconds one night last spring, the blinding flash of a huge meteor lit up the sky over central Mexico. A short time later, a B57 sped to the scene from Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, N. Mex. Its mission was to collect any debris that might still be adrift after the fireball's searing entry into the earth's atmosphere. For the second time in history, investigators had been alerted quickly enough to seek such dust, which provides invaluable clues to the origin and chemical makeup of meteorites.

The attempt demonstrated...

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