London, South Kensington
19 October 2016
A SMALL ORIENTED CHELYABINSK METEORITE
Chelyabinskaya Oblast, Russia (54°49’ N, 61°07’ E)
While this is a modestly sized oriented meteorite compared to the previous lot, every feature of orientation is evident: parabolic cone, flow lines, regmaglypts, an ablation lip and evidence of bubbling on the reverse. On the obverse an evocation of a face similar to the character Kuato in the film Total Recall.
39 x 37 x 17mm (1½ x 1½ x 1/8in.)
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Klotz, I. (2014), “Russian Meteor: Chelyabinsk Asteroid Had Violent Past.” Discovery. Accessed November 5, 2015.
Dorminey, B. (2015), “NASA Surprised By Chelyabinsk Russian Meteor Fragments.” Forbes. Accessed November 5, 2015
This is a smaller oriented meteorite from the Chelyabink meteorite shower—and as is the case with the previous lot, less than 1% of all meteorites exhibit this degree of orientation. As a result of the damage created by Chelyabinsk, scientists are racing to come up with a comprehensive global strategy to protect Earth from a larger bombardment. About 13,000 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like the Chelyabinsk parent body have been discovered to date; nearly 900 of them are a kilometer in diameter or larger. More than 1600 of these bodies have been officially classified as “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.” Chelyabinsk is a member of the least-common ordinary-chondrite group—the LL chondrites. It wandered through interplanetary space for a scant 1 million years, which suggests that Chelyabinsk was derived from the recent disruption of a small Earth-crossing asteroid that was itself broken off the main LL parent asteroid in the more-distant past. During one or more of these collisional events, Chelyabinsk was significantly shocked; pools of impact melt have been documented in numerous specimens.
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