Radar sees meteor crater under Russia lake

March 21, 2013 at 4:42 PM
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CHELYBINSK, Russia, March 21 (UPI) -- Scientists say a radar probe of a lake in Russia's Urals revealed a crater possibly created by a fragment of a meteor that exploded over the region last month.

The meteor broke into seven large fragments when it exploded over the city of Chelybinsk and one of the chunks is believed to have fallen into frozen Lake Chebarkul, creating a hole in the ice about 25 feet in diameter.

Scientists from Russia's Institute of Earth Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation carried out a study of the lakebed, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

"A 3-D image of the bottom shows a 3-meter (10-foot) crater that could have very probably been created by impact with a large meteorite fragment," researcher Alexey Popov said.

The crater isn't directly beneath the hole in the ice but is around 30 feet to one side of it, he said.

Emergencies Ministry divers had searched the site in February but failed to find traces of the meteorite fragment in the thick layer of silt covering the lake bottom, officials said.

The meteorite that exploded over Russia Feb. 15 created a massive shock wave that blew out windows and damaged thousands of buildings around the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring 1,200 people.

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