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Russians Search for Fragments of Huge Meteorite

  • VOA News

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, February 15, 2013

A circular hole in the ice of Chebarkul Lake where a meteor reportedly struck the lake near Chelyabinsk, about 1500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Moscow, February 15, 2013

Russian authorities say divers are exploring a lake hit by a fragment of the huge meteor that streaked across the sky and exploded above the Ural Mountains.

People in Russia's Chelyabinsk region panicked as the 10-ton meteor lit up the morning sky Friday.

The explosion unleashed a shock wave that blew out windows, damaged buildings and left more than 1,100 people injured. The interior ministry said most of the injuries were caused by flying glass.

The planetary science director at the U.S. space agency, NASA, says the event was an "exception."

Jim Green said Friday that "fireballs" of some kind happen on a daily basis, but most of them are not seen because they fall over the ocean or in remote areas.

The Russian Academy of Sciences says the meteor entered the Earth's atmosphere at a speed of at least 54,000 kilometers per hour.

Its entry occurred just hours before an asteroid known as 2012 DA14 passed between Earth and some orbiting satellites.

NASA said the 45-meter-wide asteroid came as close as 27,000 kilometers above Earth.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.
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