18 February 2013, 14:42

Chelyabinsk meteor lake to become a must-see

Chelyabinsk meteor lake to become a must-see

The Chebarkul lake near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk can become a major tourist attraction after fragments of the ten-tone meteorite reportedly plunged into it on Friday, a Russian MP has said.

“Some 70 kilometers from the city there is a beautiful lake where a meteorite fell. People will be coming to this lake to dive and look for its fragments,” Sen. Konstantin Tsybko told reporters.

A meteorite hit the Russia’s Chelyabinsk in the central Urals region on February 15, rattling houses and smashing windows across the city. Over a thousand residents were injured, with 52 admitted to hospitals.

Meteorite rush seizes Russia

Scores of online bargain deals have spawned all over the Internet following the Friday meteorite crash in central Russia’s Chelyabinsk, with many opportunities grabbing at the change of making easy profits from auctioning off what they claim to be fragments of the genuine meteor.

Some sellers were reportedly asking as much as $4,000 per piece over the weekend, as the meteorite rush reached its peak. Many vendors claimed they either worked at the sites devastated by the meteorite that burst to pieces over the Russian city on Friday or came to possess the precious bits of space rock through trading with the locals.

One of the sellers wrote that he got his 263-gram fragment from the Chelyabinsk zinc factory rubble and described how it smelt of sulphur, while another claimed he had carried off a 200-kilo rock from the impact site near a Chelyabinsk lake.

Researchers say the meteorite exploded into at least seven large pieces and hundreds of small ones. One of the bigger fragments plunged into the local Chebarkul Lake, forming an 8-meter ice hole.

Most of meteorite mass sunken in Lake Chebarkul - scientists (VIDEO)

Most of the meteorite that fell over the Chelyabinsk region on Friday morning and fragments of which Urals Federal University scientists have found is sunken in the Lake Chebarkul, expedition leader, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Meteorite Committee Viktor Grokhovsky told Interfax on Monday.

"The fragments discovered come from the meteorite fusion crust, which means most of the meteorite mass is sunken in the lake," he said. The expert estimated the size of the sunken meteorite at 50-60 centimeters.

"We have found tiny pieces, about 50-53 in all, and each is measured in millimeters. That was all we could find in the snow around the crater," he said.

New expeditions of Urals scientists to the meteorite drop zone are in question: scientists lack funds and there has been no official order for their work. "It was our personal initiative. Being a committee member, I could not have stayed aside so I sent the guys there," Grokhovsky said.

The search zone will be very wide, he said. Grokhovsky predicted that meteorite fragments might be found not only in the Lake Chebarkul. University specialists are preparing for detailed analysis of the fragments. They have identified the meteorite as a regular chondrite, a stone meteorite containing about 10% of iron.

Urals scientists claim to have found meteorite pieces, make online broadcast

A tweet from Urals State University representatives says Urals scientists are making a live broadcast from the laboratory studying meteorite pieces.

"A Urals State University expedition has brought pieces found near Chelyabinsk to the university. Researchers said the pieces belonged to the meteorite," the report said.

It also said a video of the Chelyabinsk meteorite fragments studied at the university lab was available at http://93.88.180.250.

The video sound is off. It shows meteorite pictures on three computer displays and a small piece of dark substance captioned the Meteorite Chebarkul.

Earlier reports said that the search for fragments of the meteorite that blasted above the Chelyabinsk region had stopped and no fragments had been found.

The search was made in the Lake Chebarkul, one kilometer away from the same-name city, near the village of Zvyagino in the Chebarkul district and the village of Kuvashi near Zlatoust.

Chelyabinsk Vice-Governor Igor Murog told Interfax that the hole found in the Lake Chebarkul and suspected of being the place where meteorite pieces might have landed had a different origin.

The Emergency Situations Ministry also said that meteorite pieces had not been found.

Scientists confirm Chebarkul Lake meteorite found in Russian Urals as meteorite with an iron content of about 10%

Scientists have discovered in Lake Chebarkul fragments of the meteorite, which fell on Friday morning near Chelyabinsk. Their extraterrestrial nature has been corroborated by chemical analysis, reported member of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Meteorites Victor Grokhovsky of the Urals Federal University.

Previously there was information that an expedition comprising Urals University staff had set out to Chelyabinsk tasked with finding fragments of the meteorite.

"We literally only just finished the studies, and confirm that the particles found by us in the vicinity of Lake Chebarkul are of meteorite nature. This meteorite is classified as a chondrite; it’s a stone meteorite with an iron content of about 10%. Most likely, it will be given the name Chebarkul meteorite," said Grokhovsky.

Voice of Russia, RIA

- Massive meteorite crash shakes Urals region in central Russia (PHOTO)

“All the medical, educational and social buildings have been restored. Studies at all children’s educational institutions in the Chelyabinsk Region will continue on Monday,” Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement.

Chelyabinsk mops up broken glass

The City of Chelyabinsk has successfully repaired all windows in all of its schools and removed most of the broken glass that littered its streets following last Friday’s meteorite event.

Speaking to The Voice of Russia Sunday, a local woman namedTatyana Goncharova also said that many Chelyabinsk households have reinforced their window panes with paper bands to prevent them from being blown out in case of another meteorite attack. In doing so, they acted on advice from survivors of Nazi bombing raids.

Mrs Goncharova also mentioned proposals to establish a meteorite museum in Chelyabinsk.

A flaming meteorite streaked across the sky and slammed into Russia’s Urals Region on Friday with a massive boom that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk.Around 1,200 people had been hurt, including more than 200 children, mostly in the Chelyabinsk Region near the Ural Mountains. Some 50 people were hospitalized, and at least two people were reported to be in "grave" condition.

The shock waves blew windows at 700 schools, kindergartens and over 200 hospitals and social security facilities. Approximately 100,000 homeowners were affected, Chelyabinsk Region Governor Mikhail Yurevich said.

The total area of window glass shattered in the region has reached 200,000 square meters, local authorities said. Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said on Sunday some 30 percent of smashed window glass has been restored.

Over 24,000 workers and 4,300 pieces of equipment are involved in the effort to clear up the damage caused by the meteorite, the regional Emergences Center reported.

Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS, AP, Interfax, RT

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