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Origin of Russian meteor identified
by Staff Writers
Medellin, Colombia (UPI) Feb 26, 2013


Russian meteor had space collisions
Moscow (UPI) Feb 26, 2013 - The powerful blast of a meteorite over a Russian city was probably caused by its previous space collisions with other celestial bodies, an expert says.

Professor Erik Galimov of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry in Moscow said fragments of the meteorite that exploded over the Urals city of Chelyabinsk Feb. 15 were taken to the institute for study Monday.

"[The meteorite] experienced collisions in space before entering the atmosphere. Probably, this caused its disintegration, or fragmentation, which later resulted in such a powerful blast," Galimov told RIA Novosti. "Such blasts do not always occur when meteors fall."

Findings made by experts at the institute in Moscow confirmed preliminary results of the meteorite's test in a lab of the Urals Federal University, he said.

The shock wave from the exploding meteor damaged walls and shattered windows in Chelyabinsk and 1,500 people were injured, mostly by flying pieces of window glass.

Scientists say they have reconstructed the path of the meteor that exploded over Russia Feb. 15 and identified its likely origin within our solar system.

Researchers at the Universidad de Antioquia in Colombia said videos of the meteor's fireball path over the city of Chelyabinsk taken with camera phones, CCTV and car-dashboard cameras allowed them to compute its trajectory and from that its probable orbit around the sun.

The Chelyabinsk meteor appears to have been on an elliptical orbit around the Sun before it collided with Earth, they said, and its path suggests it belonged to a well-known family of space rocks known as the Apollo asteroids that periodically cross Earth's orbit.

Asteroids are grouped based on their orbits, and of about 9,700 near-Earth asteroids discovered so far about 5,200 are thought to be Apollos.

Stephen Lowry of the University of Kent in Britain said he agreed with the Colombian researchers' findings.

"It certainly looks like it was a member of the Apollo class of asteroids," he told BBC News.

"Its elliptical, low inclination orbit, indicates a solar system origin, most likely from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter."

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DEEP IMPACT
Russian Meteorite Clean-Up 'Two-Thirds Complete'
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Feb 26, 2013
Almost 10,000 windows were mended and 1,500 psychological consultations provided as part of the meteorite hail recovery effort in Russia's Urals, the country's Emergency Situations Ministry said on Saturday. Emergency services removed more than 160 tons of glass shattered by the shockwave from the meteorite that exploded above Chelyabinsk Region on February 15, the ministry said on its web ... read more


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