Chebarkul Lake meteorites confirmed as fragments of Russian fireball

The massive fireball over Chelyabinsk, Russia Friday dropped meteorites in at least one location – Lake Chebarkul west of the city.

The Russian International News Agency (RIA Novosti) confirms that the small half-inch black rocks littered around the hole on frozen Lake Chebarkul near Chelyabinsk have been confirmed as meteorites from Friday’s exploding fireball. Click HERE for a closeup photo.

Stony chondrite meteorites were found around this hole in Lake Chebarkul. Credit: Andrey Orlov

Victor Grokhovsky of Urals Federal University and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Meteorites, described the fragments as  ordinary chondrites, a common type of stony meteorite knocked from the crust of an asteroid. The space rocks have an iron content of about 10 percent.

Gokhovsky hopes the new fall will be named Chebarkul, after the nearest town. Most meteorite falls are named after the nearest city, post office or important landmark after being reviewed by the Nomenclature committee of the Meteoritical Society, a group of over 1000 scientists and meteorite enthusiasts from around the world.

Based on the fireball’s dual smoke trail and multiple explosions heard, there were probably at least several masses of meteorite that fell in addition to the material at Chebarkul Lake. No reports on those … yet. Just listen carefully to the video below.


Smoke trail and explosions from the Russian meteor 


Video of the fireball from a very different vantage point. Watch the effects of the shock wave after the meteor passes 

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About astrobob

My name is Bob King and I work at the Duluth News Tribune in Duluth, Minn. as a photographer and photo editor. I'm also an amateur astronomer and have been keen on the sky since age 11. My modest credentials include membership in the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) where I'm a regular contributor, International Meteorite Collectors Assn. and Arrowhead Astronomical Society. I also teach community education astronomy classes at our local planetarium.

5 thoughts on “Chebarkul Lake meteorites confirmed as fragments of Russian fireball

  1. Really exciting that through the likes of You Tube, digital cameras and the Internet, we can all “participate” in this kind of rare event, which in decades past (given the location) would have appeared only as a footnote in a science textbook.

  2. Bob, the double smoke trail looks a bit like the paired wing tip vortices from an airplane. That’s not to suggest the object had wings – now, that would be a story! – but that as it fell through the atmosphere, the air curled upwards around the sides of the falling stone. I wonder if there’s any videos that show the transistion from the glowing ball of fire into the double smoke trail?

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