Largest Recorded Meteorite Discovered in Chelyabinsk Lake

Chelyabinsk Meteorite is World’s Largest to be Recovered

The yield from the Lake Chebarkel is more than just water, divers recently discovered the largest recorded meteorite from the meteor that exploded and landed in February in the Russian Chelyabinsk.

A fragment weighing in at half a ton has been pulled out of Lake Chebarkal in the Urals, according to Russian officials.

The meteorite is a piece from the Russian fireball that entered the earth’s atmosphere and broke up over Chelyabinsk in February this year. Scientists have estimated the galactic chunk to be about 570 kilograms. The meteorite fragment was broken into three parts when scientist attempted to weigh it with a scale that couldn’t handle the mass.

Sergey Zamozdra, associate professor of Chelyabinsk State University has said in a report from Interfax and IT that preliminary investigations have confirmed the recently excavated chunk to be a fraction of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

“It’s got thick burn-off, the rust is clearly seen and it’s got a big number of indents. This chunk is most probably one of the top ten biggest meteorite fragments ever found.”

This is the largest recorded fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteor that has been discovered and lay 20 meters under water in the Lake Chebarkel bed for eight months before finally being hoisted to land.

Divers first spotted the mass of rock in September and many attempts to extract it from the lake were subsequently made. Elemental factors such as extremely poor (zero) visibility, temperamental weather, and a nearly impenetrable layer of mud delayed the much-anticipated excavation. The divers had a mammoth task before them, taking a total of 10 days to pump away the mud that the celestial rock had nestled into. Now, the rock is in a natural museum and is undergoing studies to determine the nature and origin of the meteorite.

The mother meteor that burst into the atmosphere in February (weighing in at an estimated 11,000 tons) has renewed zest in monitoring orbiting space rocks that could potentially pose a risk to the earth. The incident in February caused great economical damage, reportedly $31 million, to the area. At least 1 000 people were injured by the bursting rock. The 55- foot long meteorite released 30 times the energy of the historic Hiroshima bomb as it exploded.

Astrologists, however, are not the only ones interested in the alien rock. In a recent report published in Ria Novosti, Chelyabinsk Region Culture Minister Alexei Betekhtin has stated that athletes who earn the golden podium atop the podium on February 15 2014 will be awarded medals containing embedded pieces of the meteor. In addition to this, the monetary value of meteorites is also of interest and can range up to thousands of dollars.

Scientists have not yet recorded any definite report on the mineral make up of the meteorite discovered in Lake Chebarkel in the Russian Chelyabinsk area and by studying this meteor, and its orbit (which can be determined by weighing the celestial rock) they are hoping to discover more about the nature of the universe and the little and largest rocks orbiting in space.  Each meteorite holds the potential for further knowledge as it is akin to a time capsule that has within it 4.5 billions years of orbiting in the solar system.

Jessica Rosslee

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