Russian scientists have recovered a big chunk of the Chelyabinsk meteorite in the waters of Lake Chebarkul on Wednesday. The 10,000-ton space rock had blazed across the sky of the southern Urals and landed in the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia. Its shockwave injured more than 1,600 people and its impact can be compared to 20 atomic bombs that hit Hiroshima in Japan during the last World War.
The huge boulder from space broke into pieces when it hit earth in February. The broken rocks created holes on the icy lake leading experts to believe that there were big pieces that sank to the bottom of the muddy lake.
The size of the salvaged rock raised from the murky lake bottom is the size of a coffee table, and weighs roughly 1,256 pounds or roughly 570 kilograms. According to scientists, this is the biggest fragment of the said meteorite.
The scientists pulled out the rock from the lake, placed it on a metal plate, and weighed it along the shore. The meteorite broke into three big chunks when it was lifted off the ground using a contraption of ropes and levers. The scale that weighed the rock also broke when it hit the max. The experts confirmed that what they recovered is part of the space boulder that exploded when it entered the atmosphere because of the fusion crusts of the remains.
"Fusion crust forms as the meteoroid is travelling through the atmosphere as a fireball. The outer surface gets so hot it melts the rock to form a dark, glassy surface crust which we term a fusion crust. Regmaglypts are the indentations, that look a bit like thumbprints, also seen on the surface of the meteorite," said Caroline Smith of the Natural History Museum in London in an interview with BBC.
The recovered portion of the Chelyabinsk meteorite is now considered as one of the biggest space rock fragments ever recovered.
The rock rested at a depth of 43 feet and not just 26 feet, as reported earlier by media.
Initially, twelve rocks were recovered from the lake but only five were found to be fragments of the meteorite, according to reports of local Russian media.