Jet Search Area Moved 700 Miles, Objects Spotted

MH370 may have run out of fuel sooner than thought
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 12:53 AM CDT
Updated Mar 28, 2014 6:35 AM CDT
New Radar Lead Shifts Jet Search Area
An airborne electronics analyst, observes a radar image aboard a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft during the search operation.   (AP Photo/Michael Martina, Pool, File)

A new breakthrough in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Planes are now concentrating on a new, smaller area of the Indian Ocean based on what authorities say is a "credible lead" that the plane traveled a shorter distance than earlier believed, CNN reports. The search area has been shifted around 700 miles to the northeast based on radar analysis that suggests the plane flew faster than previously thought, meaning it would have run out of fuel sooner. Five of the 10 planes searching today spotted "objects" in the new search area, and images of them will be analyzed overnight, CNN adds. USA Today notes that the sightings must still be confirmed by ship, which is expected to happen tomorrow.

The new search zone is closer to Australia, which will give planes a lot more time to search before they have to return to base. "It is a different ballpark," an oceanographer tells the New York Times. "Where they are searching now is more like a subtropical ocean. It is not nearly as bad as the southern Indian Ocean, which should make the search easier." The new search area, however, is hundreds of miles away from where hundreds of "potential objects" were spotted on satellite images earlier this week, the AP notes. "This is the normal business of search and rescue operations—that new information comes to light, refined analyses take you to a different place," an Australian official told reporters. "I don't count the original work as a waste of time." (More Malaysia Airlines stories.)

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