Russian Meteorites

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September 30, 2013:
Meteoroid explosion in Russia creates interest in meteor fragments worldwide.

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Chelyabinsk:

The town of Chelyabinsk was a restricted area during the days of the old Soviet Union because it hosted atomic weapons research labs. One lucky fact in the meteor strike is that it did not damage any nuclear facilities, or people would have another Fukushima scenario to point out when anyone propounds the use of more reactor facilities for electricity.

Can you buy pieces of the 2013 Russian Meteorite Impact?

Fireball explosion noted for causing widespread damage.

The news of a meteorite impact and shockwave in Russia has already created a worldwide demand for fragments from this famous explosion. International sellers on eBay, who may charge hundreds of dollars for fragments of better-known meteorites, are looking to sell pieces of the Chelyabinsk meteorite. Museums, private collectors, and local scientists are hoping to learn where the meteorite originated, what it is made of, and how big it was when it hit the atmosphere. Some initial estimates are that the rock was around 10 tons, and it was the speed, not the size, of the meteoroid that created the shock wave and damage. Meteorite hunters will be seeking pieces of this particular impact for quite some time, though the remote region where the incident occured may make it difficult for those casual "meteorite hunters" who want to find pieces.

Russian MeteoritesThe collection and sale of meteorite pieces has become a hot market for some time, and has increased with shows on cable TV like "Meteorite Men" which documented the interest in finding pieces of meteorites by people who walk around with metal detectors. This is a useful way to find metallic fragments, but is not as easy with stony meteorites which make up a significant portion of the space rocks that are zipping around the solar system as well. Collectors prize fragments of famous meteor impacts, or pieces that can be cut to show the Widmanstatten texture that is prevalant in nickel-iron meteorites and makes an interesting pattern that can be displayed in cross-sections. In fact, a meteorite weighing a few pounds of this type can be sawed into individual pieces and put into necklaces, watches, and other designs that show this interesting mineral structure.

Notes and Special Information

Special note: Authentication for meteorite fragments may be difficult, since it may take a trained scientist to know whether the pieces of the rock in question are genuine or something sold by a crafty marketer and chipped off rocks he found in his back yard