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Citing a "credible lead," Australian prime minister Tony Abbott announced tonight that the country has revised the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to a 123,000 square mile zone about 680 miles northeast of the area in the southern Indian Ocean searchers had focused on.

"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Abbott said.

The new information, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, was "based on continuing analysis of radar data" that indicated the plane was traveling faster than previously thought, so it ran out of gas sooner.

The new area is about 1,250 miles west of Perth; the former area was about 1,550 miles west of Perth and further south.

France, Thailand and Japan recently produced satellite images of what appear to be debris fields in the ocean. It could be the missing plane or it could be something else entirely, as has been the case up until now. 

The plane disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board. There have been theories and leads, but we still know very little about what happened.


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