Huge meteorite chunk pulled from Russian lake

Oct 18, 2013, 07:26 IST | Agencies

Divers working at a Russian lake have recovered a half-tonne chunk of the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk earlier this year. The object plunged into Lake Chebarkul in central Russia on February 15, leaving a 6 metre-wide hole in the ice. Scientists say that it is the largest fragment of the meteorite yet found

More than 1,000 people were injured when a 17 metre, 10,000-tonne space rock burned up over Central Russia, breaking windows and rocking buildings.

Live footage showed a team pull out a 1.5-metre-long (five-foot-long) rock from the lake after first wrapping it in a special covering and placing it on a metal sheet while it was still underwater. The fragment was then pulled ashore and placed on top of a scale for weighing, an operation that quickly went wrong.

Recovered: Divers drag the rock to shore on a metal sheet. The chunk is most probably one of the top 10 biggest meteorite fragments ever found. Pic/AFP

The rock broke up into at least three large pieces as it was lifted from the ground with the help of levers and ropes. Then the scale itself broke, the moment it hit the 570 kg mark.

Sergey Zamozdra, an associate professor at Chelyabinsk State University, said, “The preliminary examination... shows that this is really a fraction of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. This chunk is most probably one of the top 10 biggest meteorite fragments ever found.”

The divers’ mission had been hampered by a number of factors. The rock fragment lay at 13-metre depth.

570 kg
The weight of the piece of the meteor that was pulled out of the lake by divers

Number of people who were injured when the meteorite fell down in Russia

Did you know?
The force of the shock wave was estimated to be as strong as 20 Hiroshima atom bombs. 

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