Scientists delve into makeup of meteor that exploded over Russia

July 15, 2013 at 3:11 PM
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YEKATERINBURG, Russia, July 15 (UPI) -- Scientists say microscopic images of fragments of the meteorite that hit central Russia in February showed its chemical makeup was what they expected.

The meteorite was an ordinary chondrite, Viktor Grokhovsky of the Urals Federal University said.

"The fragments contain a standard number of minerals, including olivine, pyroxene, troilite and kamacite," he said. "These minerals that can be discovered only in outer space confirm the fragments' extraterrestrial nature."

Experts at a British company that made one of the instruments used by the Russian scientists to examine the fragments said the makeup of the fragments could tell a lot more about the origin and journey of the meteor that exploded in the Earth's atmosphere over the city of Chelyabinsk.

"For the researchers who are looking at this meteorite, it's going to be telling them information about which (mineral) phase is associated with which," Simon Burgess of Oxford Instruments told the BBC.

"When they get into more detail beyond what the main chemistry of the meteorite is, they may be looking at processes in terms of how it formed, the temperature it formed at, what its history has been since its formation, possibly things about what happened to it during its impact with the Earth," he said.

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