Not only the citizens of Russia are among the vendors but also Americans are involved.
A resident of St. Petersburg has advertised the sale of a black stone nearly the size of a man's palm which he says is part of the meteorite which blasted down from the heavens on February 15. The item has been declared open for auction with the current bid standing at $1,125.00.
According to reports from the Ministry of the Interior in the Chelyabinsk Region, the police are monitoring the Internet sale of pieces of the meteorite which crashed in the Urals.
Over the past few days many different sites have appeared offering the sale of meteorite fragments at prices starting at R10,000 and going all the way up to half a million rubles.
0Chelyabinsk meteorite ‘made close shave with airliner’
It has just transpired that the Chelyabinsk meteorite that struck on Friday made a close shave with a Bombardier CRJ-200 airliner, as it was making a landing approach to Chelyabinsk Airport. The pilot, Captain Alexander Arkhipov, of Ak Bars Airlines, says he felt the heat and observed the heavenly intruder breaking up into several fragments.
He also says that on the videos shot from the ground the meteorite looks very different.
His plane landed safely and on time.
Astronomers could not trace the Chelyabinskmeteorbecause this celestial body was approaching from the Sun, and telescopes did not see it in the sunshine, Deputy Director of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute at the Moscow State University Sergei Lamzin said.
"It was impossible to detect it, because it was flying fromthe Sun. But if it was flying at night, our MASTER telescopes’network could have traced it", Lamzin said to journalists.
MASTER telescopes can observe bursts in the Universe, watch comets, meteors and space debris. The system includes telescopes, located in the Tunka valley, Moscow region, Kislovodsk, in the Urals and in Blagoveschensk.
In the period of time around the fall of the Chelyabinsk meteor, the Russian Meteor weather satellite registered an increase in the concentration of water molecules in the orbit that possibly indicates that the space "guest" was a comet.
0Meteorite 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 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.
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.
“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.
Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS, AP, Interfax, RT, news.mail.ru