Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Giant chunk of Russian meteorite found in lake

Divers at a Russian lake have pulled out a 5-foot-wide, half-ton hunk of meteorite from the Chelyabinsk meteor that streaked across the sky in February.

The large black fragment smashed a nearly 20-foot-wide hole into the ice covering Lake Chebarkul. It could potentially be the most massive fragment of the dramatic fireball captured on video across the region, and researchers are calling it a once in a lifetime moment.

"It's a once-in-a-100-year event. It's very exciting from that point of view," said meteoriticist Caroline Smith, who curates the Natural History Museum's meteorite collection in London and was following the find's progress.

The rock weighed in at about 1,257 pounds Wednesday but it may be heavier because it broke the scale, Smith noted — and broke into pieces as well.

Even though this is a massive meteorite fragment, it's a tiny portion of the original missile, a roughly 56-foot-wide space rock that traveled about 40,000 mph and vaporized roughly 15 miles above the surface, resulting in an explosion measured between 300 and 500 kilotons, roughly the same as a modern nuclear bomb, according to a Los Angeles Times report. Fragments rained down from the sky and several such meteorites have been collected since then.

The specimen appears to be an ordinary chondrite, the most common meteorite to hit Earth, Smith said. Still, it could be useful for scientists wondering what size of space rock could do major damage on impact.

People look Wednesday at what scientists believe to be a more than half-ton chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor that streaked across the sky in a dramatic fireball in February.

Associated Press

People look Wednesday at what scientists believe to be a more than half-ton chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteor that streaked across the sky in a dramatic fireball in February.

Giant chunk of Russian meteorite found in lake 10/16/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:02am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Los Angeles Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Snell to rejoin rotation Wednesday

    Blogs

     

  2. Illegal sign patrol on a mission to clean up Hillsborough streets

    Human Interest

    BRANDON --Jim Reed, rifling through the back of his Nissan Pathfinder, picks out a sign.

     Citizen volunteers, Reed and Bill Staley take down illegal roadside signs for county code enforcement.  CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
  3. Video: Crowd catches teen falling from Six Flags ride

    Nation

    QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — A teenager fell about 25 feet (about 8 meters) from a stopped gondola ride at an upstate New York amusement park Saturday night, tumbling into a crowd of park guests and employees gathered below to catch her before she hit the ground.

    A teenager fell from a stopped gondola ride at Six Flags in upstate New York. [FACEBOOK VIA LOREN LENT]
  4. Trump accuses Clinton of colluding with Democrats to defeat 'Crazy Bernie Sanders'

    National

    In the wake of a bombshell story about Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election - and persistent allegations that President Donald Trump's campaign may have colluded with Russia to win - Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to accuse someone else of collusion: his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    President Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]
  5. Vending machines to give 100,000 free books to Florida kids

    Education

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Children in South Florida will soon be able to get free books from vending machines.