18 February 2013

Russian scientists locate meteorite fragments

by Will Parker

Russia's Ria Novosti news agency has reported that Russian scientists have located fragments from the meteor that broke up dramatically over Chelyabinsk on Friday. The area, about 900 miles east of Moscow, is home to factories, a nuclear power plant and an atomic waste storage centre. The shockwave blew out windows in more than 4,000 buildings in the region.

According to Viktor Grohovsky, from the Urals Federal University, the fragments were found around a frozen lake near the town of Chebarkul, where the meteorite is believed to have landed.

The scientists have been concentrating their search for fragments of the meteorite around Chebarkul Lake, where a 20ft wide crater in the ice cover had been found following the strike.

"We have just completed the study, we confirm that the particulate matters, found by our expedition in the area of Lake Chebarkul indeed have meteorite nature," Mr Grohovsky told Ria Novosti.

He added that a preliminary analysis of the meteorite indicated it was an ordinary chondrite type. "It is a stony meteorite which contains some 10 percent of iron. It is most likely to be named Chebarkul meteorite."

The finding of fragments around the lake follows on from an unsuccessful search of the lake bed by a group of six divers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, there is considerable disagreement between Russian scientists and NASA over the size of the meteorite. Russian scientists are quoted as saying the meteor weighed about 10 tonnes before it entered the Earth's atmosphere, travelling at some 19 miles per second, before breaking apart 20-30 miles above ground. NASA, however, says the meteor was 55ft wide and weighed around 10,000 tons before entering the atmosphere.

Discuss this article in our forum
Ancient Buddhist statue, filched by Nazis, was carved from meteorite
Tunguska Event Responsible For Warming Climate?
Asteroid belts' location critical for evolution of complex life
Camera network plots meteorite landings

Source: Ria Novosti