First Russian Meteor Fragments Found Near Frozen Lake
The first Russian meteor fragments have been found near a frozen lake, according to Russian media reports.
The fragments were found near a giant hole in the ice covering the lake, which is believed to have been made by a sizable chunk of the meteor.
Divers searched the lake on Saturday to look for evidence of a meteorite, but were unable to find anything, reports ABC News.
Despite this, Mikhail Udovinko, a student at the nearby university, found a small stone near the hole’s edge. Udovinko believes the rock is part of the massive meteor that streaked across the sky and exploded over Chebarkul on Friday.
The hole in the lake has also become somewhat or a tourist attraction. Several people have made the long journey across the ice to see it with their own eyes. For the locals, like Svetlana, the sight is amusing. The student stated:
“Our town is very small. Now it is very famous. Unbelievable.”
While the discovery of fragments from the Russian meteor is making the rounds, officials are still assessing the damage, notes the BBC. They believe that the meteor strike caused about $33 million in damage.
Viktor Grohovsky, of the Urals Federal University, confirmed the meteorite fragment find, saying:
“We have just completed the study, we confirm that the particulate matters, found by our expedition in the area of Lake Chebarkul indeed have meteorite nature.”
Grohovsky added that the meteorite appears to be made from “ordinary chrondrite.” It will most likely be named the Chebarkul meteorite for where it fell. Scientists believe the meteor weighed 10 tons and was 55 feet wide. It streaked through the sky at 46,000 miles per hour.
The meteor exploded over the Russian town, releasing about 500 kilotons of energy. For comparison, the Hiroshima atomic bomb released 12-15 kilotons of energy.