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If you see a bolide, is there any way to judge whether it's worthwhile to try to find an impact? (I mean, short of a big "bang" and a debris cloud rising from the remains of your car...)

I imagine it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing at best, but it seems like the meteor hounds have a few leads per year.

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One test is whether or not you hear anything from the bolide. If you hear explosions, it means that it got low enough into the atmosphere for sound waves to travel. This low, dense atmosphere will quickly slow down the remnants before they burn up completely. But finding anything will be like a needle in a haystack unless you have multiple observations from different places so that you can work out the geometry of where (latitude and longitude) it was in the atmosphere it was last seen.

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