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So you want to know the secrets of the universe...?

By Kate Baklitskaya
01 March 2013

Fragments of the meteorite which exploded over the Urals have revealed their geological identity to Siberian scientists.

The fragments were passed to scientists by teachers from Novosibirsk, who were in the village Emanzhelinka, Chelyabinsk region when the meteorite struck on 15 February. Picture: The Siberian Times 

The main minerals of these samples are silicates: olivine (Mg, Fe) 2SiO4 and orthopyroxene (Mg, Fe) 2Si2O6, it was disclosed. Iron and nickel sulfides (troilite, FeS, heazlewoodite Ni3S2), and native metals Fe and Ni (kamacite, taenite) were found in smaller amounts. 

In addition scientists found chromite (Fe, Mg) Cr2O4, clinopyroxene (diopside CaMgSi2O6), plagioclase (Ca, Na) Al2Si2O8, as well as glass feldspar composition in the fragments of a meteorite.

The analysis was carried out using scanning microscopy and a gas chromatography-mass spectrometer at the V S Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 

Experts from the Central Siberian Geological Museum Institute were also involved. 

Chelyabinsk meteorite analysed by Siberian geologists


Chelyabinsk meteorite analysed by Siberian geologists

Such preliminary data is important for the reconstruction of the early stages of the solar system: it is believed that meteorites are similar to the very stuff which, in fact, formed the planets. Pictures: SORAN media centre  

The geologists explained it is likely that a small amount of iron and nickel phosphide is present among the elements. According to the scientists, they obtained information about the composition of volatile components in the meteorite fragments, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Science media centre reported.

Such preliminary data is important for the reconstruction of the early stages of the solar system: it is believed that meteorites are similar to the very stuff which, in fact, formed the planets.

The fragments were passed to scientists by teachers from Novosibirsk, who were in the village Emanzhelinka, Chelyabinsk region when the meteorite struck on 15 February. 

Siberian geologists also have samples collected by geographer and mineralogist Sergei Kolesnichenko and Novosibirsk State University  graduate Igor Karlov, near the village Zauralskiy Chelyabinsk region. Now these pieces of the meteorite are being studied.

Comments (1)

can imagine the happiness of the scientists who got their hands on the bits of the meteorite. lucky!
Theo, Brazil
02/03/2013 00:30
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