Meteorite fragments found in Russia up for sale

Feb 18, 2013
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Meteorite fragments found in Russia up for sale

After last week's meteor fly-by in Russia, many people have been searching for fragments of the rock that eventually made its way onto the Earth's surface. A larger chunk of the meteor landed in a frozen lake, leaving a 20-foot wide hole. It's said that many people have discovered meteorite fragments and are now selling them online for a few dollars.

Most of the fragments discovered have only been small rocks, between the size of a pebble and a golf ball, and Russian scientists say that the meteor was probably no more than two feet in diameter after it entered the Earth's atmosphere, but they say that a large chunk of it is probably in the lake that it crashed into. However, divers have yet to find any large fragments on the bottom of the lake.

In the meantime, Russians are putting their discovered fragments up for sale online, with A two-centimeter fragment selling for 500 ruble, which is approximately $16.60. However, there's no telling if the fragments for sale are authentic. Geologists say that unclassified fragments can sell for around $0.50/gram, while slightly rare fragments can cost as much as $50/gram. However, extremely rare fragments of lunar and Martian meteorites can sell for over $1,000/gram.

NASA estimates that when the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere, it weighed about 10,000 tons and was approximately 55 feet in diameter. NASA says that a meteor that big only strikes the Earth about once every one hundred years. The shock wave that was produced by the meteor ended up injuring over 1,000 residents, and it's estimated that damages are over $33 million.

[via CTV]


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