Russian Meteor Fragments Containing 10 Percent Iron Found in Urals Region

First Posted: Feb 18, 2013 05:48 AM EST

A statement from Russian scientists says that fragments from a meteorite have been found in Russia's Urals region around a frozen lake, reports BBC.

Last Friday, a meteor broke in the morning over Central Russia and the Ural mountains. The fragments from this meteorite have been discovered on the edge of a big hole in a frozen lake near Chebarkul, a small town in the Chelyabinsk region, where scientists believe that the huge fireball landed.

Viktor Grohovsky of the Urals Federal University told RIA Novsosti that the particulate matters found in the expedition in the area of Lake Chebarkul indeed have meteorite nature. The meteorite is ordinary chondrite and is a stony meteorite, which contains 10 percent iron. The chunk that was recovered is most likely to be named Chebarkul meteorite.

According to NASA's estimation, the meteor is almost 50 feet in diameter, travelling faster than the speed of sound. And its estimates mass also increased from 7,000 to 10,000 before entering the Earth's atmosphere.

According to Russian officials, the meteorite strike caused a damage of 1 billion roubles ($33 million USD) and injured almost 1,200 people. Nearly 200,000 sq km of windows were broken.

The plunging meteor that exploded with a flash hitting six towns affected the entire population, as even the gas supply was disrupted to 17 apartment blocks in Chelyabinsk central district and 437 private homes across the city, reports Interfax News Agency.

A 20,000 strong team was sent to the Ural Mountains by Russia's emergency ministry as part of the rescue and cleanup operation.

Ads are placed on websites by the Russian space debris hunters who would offer 300,000 roubles for an authentic piece of the latest space rock to hit the planet, reports Economic Times

Meteor showers are very rare in Russia. It was in 1908 that a meteor shower in Siberia destroyed an area that was almost 770 sq m.

According to the Academic Secretary of the Zuyev Atmosphere Optics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian division Olga Tikhomirova, the meteorite combustion products will not stay in the atmosphere. The combustion products won't linger in the low atmosphere layers and are most likely to come down with rain soon, reports Interfax News Agency.

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