Accessibility links

Finns Want to Look for Remains of Arctic Meteorite

  • Associated Press

The remains of a blazing meteorite that lit up the dark skies of the Arctic last week are believed scattered near a lake in northern Finland, amateur Finnish astronomers said Wednesday.

The Ursa astronomical association says their calculations show the parts would have crashed in a remote area near the Norwegian and Russian borders.

The meteorite - which Norwegian scientists said gave “the glow of 100 full moons” - was seen in northern Norway and Russia's Kola peninsula on Thursday for about five seconds.

Marko Pekkola, a scientist with Ursa, said it likely landed in the wilderness almost 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Helsinki. He believed it weighted between 100 kilograms and 300 kilograms (220 pounds and 660 pounds) before it entered the atmosphere, and flew at a speed of 30 kilometers per second (18.6 miles per second) - “in the low end for meteorites.”

Pekkola said the meteorite likely broke into pieces when it entered the atmosphere, producing a blast wave that felt like an explosion. The parts are believed to be spread over an area of about 60 square kilometers (24 sq. miles).

“We don't know many pieces are out there, it is [exceptional] to find something,” Pekkola said. “I can say that finding one or two pieces is possible.”

The group says it wants to start searching for the remains, though it hasn't set a date yet.

In 2013, a meteorite streaked across the Russian sky and exploded over the Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people. Many were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows, curious about what had produced such a blinding flash of light.

The 2013 Chelyabinsk meteorite was estimated to be about 10 tons when it entered the Earth's atmosphere at a hypersonic speed of at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). It shattered into pieces about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above the ground but some meteorite chunks were found in a Russian lake.

XS
SM
MD
LG