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Meteorite Probably Collided with Another Space Object Before It Hit Chelyabinsk, Says Russian Scientist

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(LPAC)—Academician Erik Galimov, head of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, who is an expert on lunar and extraterrestrial material, proposed today that the reason that the meteorite which exploded over Chelyabinsk was so powerful, was because it collided with some other space object or objects beforehand. "[The meteorite] experienced collisions in space before entering the atmosphere,’’ Novosti quotes Galimov. "Probably, this caused its disintegration, or fragmentation, which later resulted in such a powerful blast. Such blasts do not always occur when meteors fall."

Pieces of the meteorite that have been collected since Feb. 15th have been under close examination. Galimov said that preliminary results of the composition of the meteorite made in a laboratory of the Urals Federal University were confirmed at the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow, after fragments arrived there yesterday.

Academician Galimov reviews the importance of Vernadsky’s breakthroughs in science, in a contribution to the next, Spring 2013, issue of 21st Century Science & Technology, which will celebrate Vernadsky’s 150th anniversary. [MGF]