Largest half-ton chunk of Chelyabinsk meteorite retrieved
A half-ton chunk of the widely-known Chelyabinsk meteorite, that fell down on Earth near Russia's Chelyabinsk in February, has been recovered from the bottom of Chebarkul Lake. A huge boulder weighing about 570 kilos, which was retrieved from the lake on Wednesday, has all hallmarks of an extraterrestrial celestial body: the fusion crust, the shock fraction, rust and the mixing of white and dark parts of the substance, specialists said.
The chunk split into at least three large parts. Most likely, the recovered fragment will join the list of ten largest meteorites that have ever been found.
The mass of the meteorite that crashed on Earth in February of this year was 11,000 tons. Experts say that it was the second-largest celestial body that fell on Earth after the famous Tunguska meteorite.
The chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteorite was recovered from under the water in stormy conditions. The fragment was resting at a depth of 20 meters.
In total, during search operations on the lake, divers found 14 fragments, including the largest one. They had retrieved a fragment weighing 11 kilos before. The fragment was delivered to scientists of the Chelyabinsk State University.
Four of the eight first objects weighing 940 grams, 997 grams, 1.3 kilograms and 4.74 kilograms were indeed the fragments of the meteorite. The rest were rocks typical of the area.
The last two fragments, weighing 11 kilograms and 570 kilograms will be studied thoroughly. The largest piece of the meteorite will subsequently become an exhibit of the regional museum.
Previously, results of chemical analysis showed that the meteorite dubbed Chelyabinsk was an ordinary chondrite, type LL5, a type of rocky meteorites. Its diameter was about 17 meters. When it entered the Earth's atmosphere, the remarkable phenomenon could be observed residents of four regions of Russia - Chelyabinsk, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk, Kurgan regions and Bashkiria republic.