The first analysis of the fall of a meteor Chelyabinsk


06/03/2013

Chelyabinsk, who had once been a secret military center of the USSR, has experienced the largest meteor burst for more than 100 years old, just a few minutes after dawn on February 15. Scientists are studying fragments of the meteor and the video of his fall, to unravel the mystery of its origin and trajectory.

The analysis showed that the meteor was visible at an altitude of about 92 km above the ground, and after 11 seconds, at an altitude of about 32 km, it exploded from heat stress and air resistance, damaging thousands of homes and injuring more than 1,000 people in the area of Chelyabinsk.

The command of the Russian Academy of Sciences combed this snowy region and brought together about 50 pieces ranging in 0.5-1 cm in diameter. The second group found about 50 meteorite fragments, one of which weighs about 2 pounds.

Preliminary geochemical analysis of the meteorite, called Tchebarkul showed that it was a meteor stone with low iron content - chondrite composed of material that was later partially melted and recrystallized.

Fortunately, the meteorite was composed of relatively brittle material, possibly due to collisions with other heavenly bodies, according to Timothy Spahr of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Because of this any crack that led to such a powerful explosion.

Scientists do not stop searching for the larger fragments in the hope to identify the origin and history of the meteor.

Original: Nature.com


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