Russian meteorite was just a common large space rock

You can safely disregard any conspiracy theories regarding the meteorite that lit up the sky in Russia earlier this month. Astronomers have confirmed that the meteorite was actually just a piece of chondrite space rock, an item commonly found flying around the Solar System.

Despite its seemingly ordinary nature, this particular piece of space rock had an interesting life. Scientists from Ural Federal University, who recovered pieces of the rock earlier in the week, are busy finding out facts about the space rock. For instance, this one spent 4.5 billion years floating around the solar system before it entered Earth’s atmosphere. Plus, it was quite the whopper, weighing in at 10,000 tons.

NASA

NASA has also weighed in on the meteorite's history, using infrasound sensors to understand the trajectory it took. The data suggests the lump of rock originated from the Asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, and that the meteorite entered the atmosphere at a shallow 20-degree angle.

Presently, scientists and amateur collectors are surveying the meteor’s landing site at Lake Chebarkul. If you wish you could get your hands on a small chunk of history, little fragments are already cropping up on eBay (but be careful—some of the listings may be fakes).

[NASA andUral Federal University via PopSci]

Get more GeekTech: Twitter - Facebook - RSS | Tip us off

Subscribe to the Best of TechHive Newsletter

Comments